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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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CSA

Getting Creative in Colorado: An Oral History of the State’s Oldest Organic Farm

June 6, 2016 |
Jerry and Jacquie Monroe of Monroe Organic Farms,

Jerry and Jacquie Monroe, owners of Monroe Organic Farms, Colorado’s oldest organic farms. The Monroes have been practicing sustainable farming methods for nearly a century. Photo courtesy of Wander Media, J.R. and Ali Richards.

Monroe Organic Farms is Colorado’s oldest organic farm, and it has the rich history to prove it. Seedstock recently spoke with co-manager Jacquie Monroe to hear the story in her own words. Although Jacquie joined the farm’s family in 1984 when she married Jerry Monroe Jr. , she feels like she’s been farming alongside the Monroe’s since they got into the industry nearly a century ago.

The Monroes began farming in Kansas in the 1920s, but the family decided to move to Colorado to get away from the bad weather and tornadoes. Once settled, Lester, Jerry Monroe Sr.’s father, farmed a small place northwest of downtown Greeley.

“Jerry Sr. remembers selling produce door to door,” Jacquie Monroe says. “He remembers selling sweet corn, a baker’s dozen—13 ears for a penny—he was maybe 6 or 7 years old around 1933 or 1934.” Read More

In CSA Twist, Aquaponics Grow Op Offers Subscribers Microgreens Live on a Tray

October 20, 2015 |
A Möbius Microfarms aquaponics system is seen inside Table Mediterranean Bistro in Portland, Oregon. The restaurant used the system to show its customers how food can be grown sustainably in cities. (photo courtesy Anne Phillip)

A Möbius Microfarms aquaponics system is seen inside Table Mediterranean Bistro in Portland, Oregon. The restaurant used the system to show its customers how food can be grown sustainably in cities. (Photo courtesy Anne Phillip)

Powered by fish effluent instead of soil, the aquaponics enabled CSA run by Oregon-based Möbius Microfarms‘ is not your run of the mill subscription program. You get your basil, arugula and/or a mix of spicy salad greens, but in a unique twist subscribers to the CSA also receive trays of live microgreens, which they can snip off to eat when it suits them. Möbius sells its microgreens live to avoid nutrient loss, spoilage, and waste.  

Founded by Anne Phillip, Möbius started out by installing aquaponics systems in restaurants.

The business is named after the Möbius strip, a three-dimensional shape consisting of one continuous plane. An aquaponics system has one continuous loop—water rich with fish waste feeds plants, which in turn filters the water to be used again by fish. Read More

Neighborhood Alliance Plans to Convert Vacant Lot into Urban Farm, Housing Complex

February 24, 2015 |
Image courtesy of Grow Pittsburgh

Image courtesy of Grow Pittsburgh

The Hilltop Alliance, a Pennsylvania nonprofit, is working on a project that could drastically advance urban agriculture in the state. The organization wants to turn a vacant 107-acre lot into Hilltop Village Farm, a multi-use development that would include 120 townhomes, a 20-acre urban farm incubator, a youth farm and CSA. If the plan is successful, the farm could be one of the largest urban farms in the country.

The Hilltop Alliance was formed in 2009 as a multi-neighborhood community development organization. Read More

Ann Arbor CSA Solves ‘Locavore’s Dilemma’ with Wintertime Produce

May 20, 2014 |
Rena Basch of Locavorious wintertime CSA holds a tray of peaches from Kapnick Orchards inside its processing kitchen. (photo by Andrea Starbird)

Rena Basch of Locavorious wintertime CSA holds a tray of peaches from Kapnick Orchards inside its processing kitchen. (photo by Andrea Starbird)

In his groundbreaking book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” food writer Michael Pollan addresses the problem of choosing what to eat.

Now, Locavorious, a CSA in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has solved “the locavore’s dilemma” of how to eat locally during the cold months of winter.

Founded and owned by Rena Basch, Locavorious is a wintertime CSA. Instead of offering fresh produce, they prepare and package local produce when it is ripe and fresh, and store it in a freezer. Then CSA members pick up their harvest shares throughout the winter.

Basch started Locavorious in 2008 with 90 CSA subscribers receiving 2,000 pounds of food. Six years later, she provides 15,000 pounds of produce for 250 subscribers. Locavorious offers 20 different fruits and vegetables. With the exception of edamame, which is sourced from Ohio and Ontario, all are grown within the state and the vast majority is grown within a 100-mile radius of Ann Arbor. Locavorious has formed partnerships with numerous area farms to supply the produce. Last year 22 farms partnered with the CSA. Read More

Boston Nonprofit Farm Grows Fresh Food for Homeless Families

March 18, 2014 |
Photo credit: ReVision Urban Farm

Photo credit:
ReVision Urban Farm

In the early 1990s, ReVision Family Home, a shelter for pregnant and parenting women in Boston, Massachusetts, began a community garden with the intention of providing fresh, nutritious food to the families at the shelter.

As it expanded, the community garden grew into ReVision Urban Farm, a half-acre urban farm that provides fresh, nutritious food not only to shelter residents, but to the entire Boston community.

In 2005, ReVision Family Home and ReVision Urban Farm merged with Victory Programs, a nonprofit agency dedicated to serving those who are homeless, have substance abuse issues, and/or other related illnesses and disorders. As a result, both the farm and the family home became programs among a diverse network of social services. Read More