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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

It’s Springtime and The Beet Goes On: Now is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, organic produce from your local farm and CSA, says Kelly Saxer of Desert Roots Farm

Mar 02, 2013 07:23AM ● By Kelly Saxer

While we can still enjoy all the wonderful salad greens and root vegetables from the winter months, spring brings summer squash, tomatoes, green beans, sweet peas and potatoes—there’s so much to choose from. Soon, we’ll be busy planting summer crops like watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, cucumbers, okra, eggplant, black-eyed peas, corn and peppers.

We can take advantage of all that our local farms have to offer this time of year and help build the essential infrastructure of local food production by shopping at a farmer’s market or joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription farm and sharing in the bounty of farm-fresh, organic produce.

CSA has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Buyers receive a box, bag or basket of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season: typically vegetables, but other farm products may be included.

This way, farmers get to market food early in the season, before their 16-hour days in the field begin; receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow; and have an opportunity to get to know the people that eat the food they grow.

In turn, consumers eat ultra-fresh food with all the flavor and vitamin benefits; become exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking; find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm—even veggies they've never been known to eat; and develop a relationship with the farmer that grows their food and learn more about how food is grown.

Kelly Saxer owns Desert Roots Farms, an organic vegetable farm in Queen Creek. For more information, call 602-751-0655 or email K[email protected].

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