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VIDEO: Bringing farm fresh to Kalamazoo through local agriculture program

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KALAMAZOO (WKZO) – Now that summer has arrived, many will stock their kitchens with the fresh fruits and vegetables the season provides. Without a garden, consumers look to their local grocer and farmers markets to aid their supply.

Within the fresh food movement is a nationwide program called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) brought to town by the Kalamazoo Nature Center. The CSA program is based on a shareholder model so that consumers can buy a share of a farmer’s produce up front and then acquire the rewards at harvest time throughout the summer.

What makes the CSA program an increasingly attractive alternative to grocery stores are the benefits for the farmers and consumers. For farmers, in this case DeLano Farms of Kalamazoo, local markets offer increased profits due to less transportation. Less handling of produce is also a plus translating fewer health issues. 

The Kalamazoo CSA is now in the second of their 21-week operation and still has open membership for consumers to join the program. See the above video for a look at the remote location service of the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s CSA program.

For more information, read the below article:

Community Supported Agriculture a growing trend in Kalamazoo

Thursday, June 20, 2013 2:38 p.m. 

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Returning for another summer is the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program dedicated to marketing crops grown and sold by local farmers.

June 17 marked the start of the 2013 season for the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s CSA, a non-profit group that supports care for the environment. With a farmers market feel, DeLano Farms unloaded containers of spinach, lettuce, kale and more for their debut week of shareholder shopping.

The idea behind the Delano Farms CSA program is that by purchasing shares of fruits, veggies and other products, members of the community provide revenue to local farmers.

Members sign up for their shares in the early spring pre-paying for a share of fruits and vegetables. For information about becoming a member click here.

Arrangements must be made with the Kalamazoo Nature Center to schedule produce pickup. Below are pickup options:

DeLano Farms Market (357 West E Ave)

  • Monday 4-6:30pm
  • Thursday 4-6:30pm

Nature's Way Preschool (4442 Oakland Drive at Kilgore)

  • Thursday 5-7pm

Add optional U-pick items to compliment your share (at no extra charge!)
For those wishing to get the farm field experience, there is a U-pick option at DeLano Farms during the Monday and Thursday pick-ups from 4:00 to 6:30 pm, or Saturday morning from 9:00 am to Noon. Shareholders who have selected the Nature's Way pick-up location can still visit the farm once a week to add U-pick items to their share.

The DeLano Farms CSA will run 21 weeks beginning the week of June 17 through October. The share price for the full 21 weeks starts at $500.  

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