A new way to support a sustainable lifestyle at the University of Cincinnati will be available for students during fall semester.
From Sept. 2 to Dec. 2, students will have the opportunity to become members of a special Consumer Supported Agriculture program offered by Our Harvest Cooperative, a worker-owned cooperative farm.
“A Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA, is great way for consumers to buy fresh, local produce straight from a farm,” said Kristin Gangwer, employee of Our Harvest Cooperative.
This CSA has been modified for the student market in numerous ways.
“A traditional CSA program offers larger portions for families and requires payment at the beginning of the growing season,” said Claire Sweigart, sustainability coordinator at UC. “This alternative CSA program has been tailored specifically to students’ budgetary and lifestyle needs.”
For $10 a week, UC students will have the opportunity to receive individual amounts of locally grown produce from a convenient pick-up point on campus.
There will be a variety of produce distributed each week containing a wide selection of seasonal vegetables ranging from tomatoes and peppers to chard and leeks.
“Members will also have the opportunity to purchase local, grass-fed beef and perhaps other products throughout the season,” Gangwer said. “CSA members will also receive a weekly e-newsletter with recipes, updates from the farm and other useful information.
Students will have the opportunity to visit and volunteer at the farm in College Hill where the produce is grown.
While purchasing locally grown food has many health benefits, the program has many other positive aspects that may persuade students to become members.
“By buying into Our Harvest's CSA program, people are not only supporting sustainable farming, but they are also helping create local jobs, train new farmers, preserve valuable farmland, and promote the local food movement,” Gangwer said.
“CSA programs connect consumers directly with producers, eliminating steps in between that add carbon emissions and reduce profits,” Sweigart said.