February 22, 2016 | By: Carol Lea Spence

Registration is open for the 2016 season of the Community Supported Agriculture Project sponsored by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. All UK faculty, staff and students are eligible to enroll in the program, which provides them with a weekly share of fresh vegetables from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic unit of the Horticulture Research Farm in Lexington from May through October.

Community Supported Agriculture, also known as a CSA, is a subscription-based program where consumers buy “shares” in a farm’s output. Members benefit from receiving fresh, local and affordable produce from growers they know and trust. Farmers benefit from having a reliable source of funds to help them operate in an economically sustainable manner. In the case of the UK CSA Project, since the UK organic farm is not a commercial farm and is not managed for profit, financial proceeds from the sale of shares support production during the growing season and student educational activities of the sustainable agriculture degree program, including student study tours and support for conference attendance.

The project is an integral part of the experiential education component of that degree program. The farm acts as both a formal and informal classroom, affording students experience in sustainable agriculture practices.

For less than $30 per week, UK CSA shareholders will receive a weekly assortment of freshly harvested produce from May 26 through Oct. 20. Share costs are $649 for faculty and staff and $583 for students. In addition and at no extra cost, shareholders will have access to a variety of you-pick crops available on the farm. The produce in the shares will vary according to the time of year, but based on a typical growing season, shareholders can expect to find such items as spring salad mix, radishes, spinach, kohlrabi, turnips, broccoli, cucumbers, basil, corn, melons, onions, squash, potatoes and tomatoes, among others.

The number of shares is limited and offered on a first-come first-served basis. Full payment at the start of the season is encouraged, but payment may also be made in four separate installments of $162.25 for faculty and staff and $145.75 for students.

When registering, participants can choose to pick up their weekly shares on Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. EDT in the parking lot of the E.S. Good Barn on campus or from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the UK Horticulture Research Farm.

For more information on the CSA program email uk.csa@uky.edu or go online to http://www2.ca.uky.edu/sustainableag/csa. To register for the UK CSA, go to http://csa.farmigo.com/join/ukcsa/2016CSA season.


Kristi Durbin, uk.csa@uky.edu