LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Lawrence community is entering the third year of Crops to Campus, their partnership with Common Harvest CSA to provide a produce subscription service to the campus community.
CSAs, or community-supported agriculture programs such as Common Harvest, provide weekly produce deliveries for subscribers, who in turn support the farms growing the produce through the purchase of a seasonal share. The shares are composed of a variety of produce harvested from participating farms that week. The Common Harvest CSA program consists of five certified organic farms within Douglas County: Moon on the Meadow, Buller Family Farm, The Red Tractor Farm, Juniper Hill Farms and Mellowfields Urban Farm.
In the continuing effort to balance subscribers’ desire for variety and choice among items with quantity to prepare a recipe, 2017 participants will see the following program enhancements:
- A swap basket to trade out one item for another
- Larger size shares of a given item, when possible
- Re-evaluation and revision of administrative fees mean more of the program value shows up as produce in the weekly share.
“The Common Harvest farmers are very excited for the 2017 season,” said Jill Elmers, owner/operator of Moon on the Meadow Farm. “We have been collaborating on crop planning to provide even more variety in the shares, working on new enhancements to the newsletter to include more recipes and news from the farms, and most importantly, planting.”
Subscribers will continue to have their choice of a full share (5-6 items for $18 a week) or a partial share (4-5 items for $13 a week) for the 24-week growing season. KU faculty, staff and students are invited to sign up for the 2017 growing season online by April 15. KU Athletics and Watkins Health Services will continue to host the weekly pickup locations: Tuesdays at Memorial Stadium and Thursdays at WHS.
Crops to Campus serves as an important and engaging employee and student wellness initiative by providing the campus community with convenient access to organic produce. It also promotes local purchasing and increases individual connectivity to the local food system. In its first year, 62 percent of subscribers credited the program with their household eating more fresh produce than usual, and 85 percent said they ate more local foods. By providing resources that support professional and personal well-being and supporting the purchase of environmentally and socially sound products, Crops to Campus addresses two objectives of the Campus Sustainability Plan, Building Sustainable Traditions.