Updated CSA directory puts more Iowa producers on the map
AMES — Consumers interested in eating local have more resources to do so with the updated directory, Iowa CSA Farms: 2014 Statewide List of Iowa CSA Farms and Organizers.
Produced by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, this publication identifies local producers who operate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) enterprises that supply consumers with local, fresh, organic and sustainably produced food during the growing season. The directory will be updated annually.
“There are already some great Buy Fresh Buy Local guides to finding CSAs in Iowa, but with the help of regional partners, we were able to collect farm info that I don’t think is listed anywhere else,” said Savanna Lyons, graduate research assistant at the Leopold Center. “Also, the locations of the CSA farms are organized by Extension region, which will make this a tool that ISU Extension and Outreach staff really can use to promote the farms in each region.”
Seventy-five farms and organizers are listed in the 2014 directory, with contact information, Web site links, available produce and distribution range. The listings are searchable by name, county and Extension region — 18 of the 20 regions in the state have CSA producers. For comparison, the 2006 directory covered 16 regions, with 49 CSA producers.
CSA enterprises connect farmers and consumers so that locally produced foods reach local dinner plates, securing farmers’ businesses while promoting healthy eating. As the 2014 Iowa CSA Farms explains:
Community members become shareholders by paying in advance for farm products. The early payments provide capital upfront when farmers’ need is greatest. The farm then supplies fresh produce on a regular basis [linking CSA members] with the ebb and flow of the farm.
The publication is available by title on the Leopold Center Web site at <www.leopold.iastate.edu/pubs> (look for Iowa CSA Farms)