Posts Tagged ‘csa’

Farmgram SLO

Local CSAs are a great way to eat healthy, support local farmers, and renew a connection with the land. However, what happens if you run out of ideas for all of those veggies? Often times, too many pieces of produce end up rotting in the compost bin because you either have no clue what to do with them, or cannot bear to look at the same ingredient for the third week in a row.

Farmgram San Luis Obispo is a project designed to deliver fresh food from the county as well as provide ideas and directions on how to use them. Each box follows a theme, such as the “breakfast box”, “juicing box”, or “meals with friends box”. In addition to vegetables and value-added items such as eggs, nuts, honey, or bread, the Farmgram comes with a chef’s recipe, starter kits for projects, and discount coupons. The canvas boxes are delivered directly to the home or office, making grocery shopping a breeze. Buying a Farmgram also helps those in need with funds each box sold used to donate fresh produce to hungry families in San Luis Obispo.

The project was started as a collaboration between three 5th year Seniors at Cal Poly. The trio hopes to encourage customers to learn new ways to enjoy the agricultural heritage of their homes, bolster local businesses, and promote food culture across the county. The Farmgram project is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, and is looking for donations to get off the ground! A pledge of $35 will secure you the first pre-order box. Contribute now to go on a culinary adventure that is good for the body, community, and creative spirit!

Some retired basketball stars promote athletic shoes and sports drinks. Others, like former pro player Will Allen, become advocates for urban farming.  As the founder and CEO of Growing Power, Inc., Allen believes that all communities, regardless of social status or tax bracket, deserve access to nutritious and affordable food.  As the son of a sharecropper and ex-corporate sales leader, he has ample experience in both the agricultural and business sectors.  In 2008, he was awarded a “genius grant” by the John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation for his efforts in furthering city farming.  He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”, and part of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign for childhood fitness.

Beginning with a plot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Growing Power has now expanded to a handful of cities across the country, including urban centers in Mississippi, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Georgia.  By establishing Community Food Centers, the organization hopes to engage citizens in food production.  Growing Power demonstrates growing methods through on-site workshops and satellite training programs.  They also run outreach programs and educational seminars to bring together farmers and members of the community.  Many of their youth programs and talks are operated by a base of dedicated volunteers who reside in the places where they teach.  In addition to instruction, Growing Power distributes fresh meats and produce through cooperatives and food security programs.

Growing Power is a treasure trove of information, and is a resource for everything from vermicomposting to aquaponics.  Their Milwaukee operation is host to national conferences throughout the year and is a hub for those seeking to inform and empower themselves through agriculture. The Wisconsin headquarters is powered by an array of solar cells, and currently pursuing generating power from the anaerobic digestion of microorganisms.  They are even beginning experiments with vertical farming in order to produce the maximum amount of food in areas with limited space.

Get inspired with Growing Power!  Create a backyard garden, or volunteer your time and expertise at a local cooperative.  San Luis Obispo residents may want to explore the Central Coast Grown’s site for information on local CSA’s, talks, and farming classes in our part of the state.  Go on and get your hands in the soil and feed your body, spirit, and community!

On the Central Coast our farmers are superstars, and we have the paper to prove it!  Collect and scope out the stats for your local growers with Central Coast Grown’s Farmer Trading Cards.  Each glossy card in the series of ten displays a picture of a San Luis Obispo county soil-slinger with facts about their land, what they grow, where they are located, and a little known piece of trivia.  The cards have been handed out to schools across the county in order to educate children on where their food comes from and what goes into making a meal.

Central Coast Grown strives to support community agriculture through creating customer awareness of the economic, health and social benefits of buying local food.  The organization, established in 2003, offers farm profiles and directions to neighborhood produce stands, links to restaurants committed to sourcing ingredients from their community, and information on where to find the closest and most convenient CSA.

Fresh diary, meat and produce does not need to travel the same distances as many other grocery store products, ensuring a longer shelf-life and less energy loss through refrigeration, processing and transportation.  Money from purchases is cycled directly back into the regional economy, keeps agriculture viable, and preserves open space.  Browsing a farmers market encourages healthy dietary choices of foods high in vitamins, fiber and minerals, and facilitates community interaction.

Show your appreciation for the people who raise your food and ask for an autographed edition of your Farmers Trading Card!