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Help your local farmers by joining a CSA

Local farmers have been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic, and a Crop Sharing Association is a great way for you to help out.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn — The agriculture industry is just one of many that have taken a hard hit during the Coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants and schools are closed, leaving farmers with crops, but no buyers.

You've seen the videos of farmers in Wisconsin dumping milk because schools are closed and bars and restaurants don't need their farm-to-table fresh produce either, which means unused food is going to waste. 

Grocery stores can only take so much before food spoils and the logistics of getting food to those who need it most and how to store the excess food doesn't yet exist. 

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It's a huge problem the country is facing with the food supply chain.

So, how can you help your local farmers? You might want to consider becoming a member of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). 

"A CSA is where you partner with a farm, you pay ahead of time, and in return we do all of the planting, the growing, the harvesting, the packing, and deliver a box of produce right to you," said Colleen Quiram who runs the CSA program at Untiedt's Vegetable Farm, which is just one of 80 Minnesota Grown CSA farms across the state.

Credit: Untiedt's Vegetable Farm
What a "Family" size weekly portion of produce from Untiedt's Vegetable Farm looks like

Colleen says she's seen an increase in people wanting to become members mainly to avoid going inside grocery stores.

"People can actually do curbside pickup with our CSAs, they can call the garden center when they arrive, they'll bring the box out and put it right in your trunk so you don't even have to get out of the car," said Colleen.

Like all of us, Untiedt's is hoping restaurants will be opening up again soon.

"We do work with a lot of local restaurants and we're hoping that by the time our produce is ready the restaurants will be open again," said Colleen. 

If you're looking for a CSA near you, click here for information. 

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