Once again this year the Dakota College at Bottineau Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture's Four Season Garden will offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares to the public. The Center's new Farm Manager, Bill Bittle, says "This is going to be a great year for growing and we have a lot of wonderful varieties of sustainably and organically grown produce in store for our shareholders".
The Four Season Garden works as a demonstration and data collection site for the Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture. Through its' operation, producers around the state learn firsthand how to market and produce for their own CSA ventures. The varieties that are grown in the Four Seasons Gardens are monitored and evaluated for growing traits, taste and profitability and this information is also shared with North Dakota vegetable producers.
Community Supported Agriculture and buying locally helps to support your community. Money paid to a local producer of vegetables tends to stay and recirculate in your community. "That doesn't happen with online companies whose offices are outside of North Dakota or whose produce is trucked in", says Holly Mawby the ECH's Director. Online or club buying options are trucked in from far away, they are not as fresh, thus not as tasty as local produce. The options that come from long distances are not as good for the environment as they use gas and other natural resources to deliver them. Purchasing from a local CSA ensures your money helps to build your community, ensures a smaller carbon footprint for your food, and allows you convenient access to fresh, seasonally ripe produce and the farmer who grows it. North Dakota has many CSA producers throughout the state. You can contact Jamie Good at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to assist you in finding a CSA near you.
Each shareholder in DCB's program receives a 5 or 10 pound bag, depending on the size of share they purchase, of whatever is ripe and harvestable every week during the 14 week harvest season. This year Bill has planned to start the season with lettuce, spinach, salad greens and radishes that will soon be followed by a variety of vegetables including beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, leeks, onions, eggplant, carrots, zucchini, and conclude with the fall harvest of watermelon, pumpkins, squash and corn as well as many others throughout the season.
For more information on CSA's or how to purchase a share of DCB's Four Season Gardens CSA, please contact Crystal Grenier at 701-228-5649 or firstname.lastname@example.org.