Mike Davis waters some plants at Bittersweet Farms.
Community Supported Agriculture is a partnership between local farmers and customers.
Members buy a share in the farm, supporting the farmers, and in return receive a portion of the fresh produce that is grown; weekly boxes contain whatever is at its peak, ripe, and in season when harvested (fruits, vegetables, herbs).
This enables customers to develop relationships with those who grow their food, and helps the farmers to share the risk with financial investors who then also share in the benefits of freshly grown produce.
If you’re interested in signing up for a CSA or learning more about them, here is a list of ones to contact in the Toledo area.
■ Bersee & Utz Heirloom Farm
A family-owned farm practicing sustainable farming without the use of toxic and harmful chemicals.
Seasons/Dates: 20 weeks (early-to-mid June to mid-to-late October, Mother Nature-dependent)
Share sizes: Full share ($710), Half share ($380); 4-week trial shares available ($142/full and $76/half)
Available produce: Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Dill, Radishes, Lettuce, Green Onions, Kohlrabi, Turnips, Beans, Carrots, Sweet Corn, Cucumbers, Basil, Peppers, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Melons, Cauliflower, Leeks, Onion, Parsley, Winter squash, Carrots, Spinach, Arugula, Melons, Apples
Pick-up Sites: Bersee & Utz Heirloom Farm (9220 Noward Rd., Waterville 43566) or home delivery
Contact: Jim 419-262-2423, Teri 419-349-2626, firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Bittersweet Farms
A private non-profit organization that offers services to adults and adolescents with autism, delivered in the context of an agricultural community.
Seasons/Dates: Spring (April 29-June 26), Summer (July 1-August 28), Fall (September 2-October 30)
Share sizes: Standard ($200-$220), Petite ($140-$150)
Available produce: Spring: Lettuce, Mixed Greens (Spring Mix, Collards, Kale, Mustard, Spinach), Root Vegetables (Beets, Carrots, Radishes, Turnips), Cabbage, Peas, Herbs, Spring Garlic, Strawberries; Summer - Beans, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Onions, Peppers (Hot and Sweet), Potatoes, Squash, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Root Vegetables, Greens (as available), Melons, Corn, Blueberries, Peaches; Fall: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Winter Squash, Root Vegetables, Mixed Greens, Apples
Pick-up Sites: Tuesdays or Thursdays at Walt Churchill’s Market in Maumee, at Bittersweet Farms in Whitehouse, or at Toledo location t.b.d.
Contact: bittersweetcsa.com, 419-875-6986
■ Friendship Farms
An organic farm started in 2008.
Seasons/Dates: late May-early June (Mother Nature-dependent) and continuing for 20 or 25 weeks
Share sizes: Small ($16/week), Large ($27/week)
Available produce: Beans, Tomatoes, Corn, Zucchini, Peas, Brussels sprouts, Kohlrabi, Edamame, Shallots, Herbs, Onions
Pick-up Sites: Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays between 4:30-6 p.m. at Friendship Farms (9960 Berkey Southern Road, Waterville 43566)
Contact: Jaime or Susan, email@example.com, 419-832-0239
■ Jentzen Farms
A 4th generation farming family raising produce of all kinds, with heirloom and hybrid varieties.
Seasons/Dates: Summer/Fall (June-October)
Share sizes: Full ($400), Half ($250)
Available produce: 7 varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes, Onions, Shallots, 15 varieties of Peppers, Cabbage, Broccoli, Leek, Spinach, and Leaf Lettuces
Pick-up Sites: Harmony and Life in Sylvania on Thursdays, Jentzen Farms in Monroe, Monroe Farmers Market on Saturdays, Perrysburg Farmers Market on Thursdays, Toledo Farmers Market on Saturdays
Contact: Brian Jentzen, 734-777-2824
■ Riehm Farms
A family-owned and operated 330-acre organic farm offering hormone- and antibiotic-free beef as well as chemical-free produce.
Seasons/Dates: 20 weeks (early June through mid-October)
Share sizes: 1 Veggie Bag ($350), 2 Veggie Bags ($699); beef, fruit, and egg add-ons are available at extra cost
Available produce: Asparagus, Broccoli, Beets, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts, Basil, Bell Peppers, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cantaloupe, Chives, Cilantro, Celery root, Corn, Cucumber, Chinese cabbage, Cayenne pepper, Dill, Eggplant, Fennel, Green beans, Green onions, Habanero peppers, Hungarian peppers, Heirloom tomatoes, herbs, Indian corn, Jalapeno peppers, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Leeks, Melons, Onions, Pumpkins, Parlsey, Patty pan squash, Potatoes, Raspberries, Roma tomatoes, Rhubarb, Radishes, Summer squash, Snap peas, Sweet potatoes, Squash, Spinach, Swiss chard, Sweet corn, Tomatillos, Turnips, Watermelon, Yams, Zucchini
Pick-up Sites: 10 different sites, including at Riehm Farms (7244 N. State Route 53, Tiffin 44883)
Contact: John or Diane, firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Schooner Farms
A 20-acre farm engaged in sustainable farming that also offers classes.
Share sizes: Standard ($500), single ($400)
Seasons/Dates: 14 weeks from July through October
Available produce: Green Beans, Radishes, Lettuce, Spinach, Beets, Snow Peas, Peas, Carrots, Basil, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Sweet Corn, Red Raspberries,Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honey, Dill, Sage, Parsley, and Flowers
Pick-up Sites: Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. or Saturdays from 9 a.m.–noon at Schooner Farms (14890 Otsego Pike, Weston 43569)
Contact: Don or Becky, email@example.com, 419-261-0908
■ Shared Legacy Farms
An organic farm passionate about growing delicious produce, protecting Mother Nature, and re-establishing the relationship between farmer and community.
Share sizes: Organic Vegetable Shares: Family ($680), Half ($360)
Seasons/Dates: 19 weeks from early June through early October
Available produce: Garlic scapes, Lettuce, Broccoli, Green onions, Swiss chard, Edible flowers, Red onions, Cauliflower, White bunching onions, Yellow beets, Red gold potatoes, Peas, Zucchini, Patty pan squash, Sweet corn, Candy onions, Irish Cobbler potatoes, Carrots, Red beets, Armenian cucumbers, Boothesbys Blonde cucumber, Eggplant, Green peppers, Oriental eggplant, Chioggia beets, Red cabbage, Red cherry tomatoes, Yellow cherry tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, Leeks, Cylindra Red beets, Sweet potatoes, Hot banana peppers, “Salsa Bag” (garlic, tomatillos, Roma tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno), Celebration winter squash, Arugula salad mix, Kale, Butternut squash, Purple bunching onions, Sweet peppers
Pick-up sites: Shared Legacy Farms (3701 S. Schultz-Portage Rd., Elmore 43416) and Downtown Port Clinton on Mondays, Jewish Family Services in Sylvania on Tuesdays, Perrysburg Farmers’ Market and Owens-Illinois on Thursdays, Toledo Farmers’ Market on Saturdays
Contact: Kurt or Corinna Bench, 419-862-3576, firstname.lastname@example.org