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Healthy fare: Fresh produce direct from the farm
Katy and Peter Hemberger are pictured with their children Ivy and Fredrik in warmer days last summer on their farm, August Earth. The Hembergers grow more than 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables at August Earth, which are available to area residents who purchase a share in their community-supported agriculture (CSA).
Want to feed your family a variety of the highest quality, freshest fruits and vegetables available? Consider purchasing a share from a local farm.
Each week during the growing season – about 18 in all – you will receive a box of fresh produce.
Depending on what’s harvested, you’ll get a variety of goodies in your box. August Earth near Hanska plans to have more than 70 varieties of produce this year including beets, spinach, tomatoes, melons, carrots, squash, sweet corn, strawberries, raspberries and plums.
At August Earth, you’re also likely to get a jar of honey. Owners Katy and Peter Hemberger have put up three beehives to pollinate their vegetables and add diversity to their farm.
August Earth is one of several farms participating in the New Ulm area’s community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project (HONU) is encouraging residents to buy into CSAs for two important reasons. One, everyone benefits when they eat locally grown fresh foods, said Rebecca Fliszar, a registered dietitian with HONU. Also, when you buy from area farms, the money goes back into the local economy and supports the community.
The CSA program also benefits the environment. It is estimated that on average, food travels 1,500 miles to reach consumers. Eating local food greatly reduces carbon emissions.
HONU is aimed at heart disease prevention. “Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to help avoid chronic conditions and diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers,” Fliszar said.
From the earth to your plate
“Every day that it takes from the time the produce is picked until it gets to your table, lowers its nutritional content,” explained Fliszar.
With a CSA program, families receive the farm’s produce within hours of it being harvested. This means you get a lot more nutritional value from eating it, Katy Hemberger said.
How do I sign up?
What if a share is too big for my family?
What if I don’t like everything in the box?
How long does the produce keep?
Will I know what I’m getting?
Local farms offering CSAs:
Guldan Family Farm
Alternative Roots Farm
Back 40 Acres
Source: New Ulm Medical Center - Health Edition
Reviewed by: Rebecca Fliszar, RD, LD
First Published: 02/25/2013
Last Reviewed: 02/25/2013