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Eat Well

Community Supported Agriculture

Information about the 2014 CSA season will be announced this spring.

The Center for Sustainability and well@du are organizing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) fruit and vegetable pickup on campus. CSAs provide the opportunity to understand where your food comes from, to build a relationship with the farmer. CSA participants pay a set fee up front, which provides farmers money for seeds and equipment. In return, participants receive a weekly allotment of fresh, seasonal, local produce. Participants are invested in the farmer's experience, as share size may vary with growing conditions. With a drop on campus, you will have the opportunity to pick up your share at DU at the end of the work day.

If you are interested in the opportunity to support a local farmer and receive fresh, seasonal, organic produce on campus, or would just like more information, please review the information on this site and return the contract(s) below with payment ASAP.  All interested community members are welcome to participate.

Leffler Family Farm - Vegetable Share

The sign-up date for the vegetable share has passed. Please check back next Spring for sign-ups and in the meantime shop your local Farmer's Markets!

Ela Family Farms - Fruit Share

Learn more about the farm.
Share will provide approximately 50 pounds of fruit over 11 weeks, from Aug 20 - Oct 29 | Cost is $135

FRUIT CSA PAYMENT INFORMATION - Payment will be due by June 1, 2013
To sign up, e-mail jeni@elafamilyfarms.com expressing interest in the DU CSA fruit share. Please make a $135 check to Ela Family Farms and mail it to:
                            Ela Family Farms c/o Jeni Nagle
                            2811 Fillmore St.
                            Denver, CO 80205
Jeni will send you an e-mail confirmation when your $135 CSA payment is received.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect each week in a vegetable share?

Produce varies by the growing seasons and conditions. Leffler Family Farms grows over 35 different vegetables, a dozen different types of herbs and an assortment of flowers. They harvest from April through November. Each week you'll receive a diverse mix of those crops that are in season.

Here are some typical highlights:

April - June: Lettuce, spinach, baby greens, peas, ruby red radishes.

July: Beets, baby carrots, cucumbers, summer squash, green beans, herbs, garlic.

August: Peppers, eggplant, onions, sweet corn, edamame, in addition to aforementioned produce.

September: Lettuce and greens are back, sweet corn, root crops.

October: Kale, rainbow chard, lettuces, dry beans, pumpkins, gourads, winter squash.

What can I expect each week in a fruit share?

Ela Family Farm CSA members receive approximately 50 pounds of fruit over 11 weeks. Large families and/or ravenous fruit eaters may want to order two shares. Sorry, we do not hold shares for weeks you go out of town.

Predicted Fruit Schedule:

Aug. 20- Peaches 3 pounds 
Aug. 27- Peaches 3 pounds
Sept. 3-  Peaches 3 pounds
Sept. 10- Two fruits: Peaches and apples 3 pounds each
Sept. 17- Two fruits: Peaches and apples or pears 3 pounds each
Sept. 24- Two fruits: Apples and pears 3 pounds each
Oct. 1- Apples or pears 3 pounds
Oct. 8- Apples 3 pounds
Oct. 15- Apples 3 pounds and apple cider
Oct. 22- Apples 3 pounds and apple cider
Oct. 29- Apples 10 pound bag of storage apples. When kept cold, these apples will stay crisp and delicious for 4-6 weeks to extend local fruit season.

Ela Family Farm's mantra is that they only sell what they grow. If they have a shortage of fruit due to light crops, they will substitute the promised amount, dollar for dollar, with their processed goods or another fruit. You will not be disappointed if they have to supplement an applesauce, jam, fruit butter or apple cider. They guarantee their fruit and that CSA members receive the full retail value of their share.

Are there half shares available?

Leffler Family Farms now offers a half share option for the vegetable CSA. Ela Family Farms, offering the fruit CSA shares, does not. If you're looking for a half-share option, you are encouraged to split the cost and the produce with a friend or colleague (you will need to sign up for one share, then figure out the splitting details). This is a great way to ensure that someone will always be available for picking up the produce, it makes the amount of food more manageable for singles and couples, and it allows you to give the vegetables you don't like to someone else.

How does a CSA work exactly?

1. You pay the farm directly, up front. Vegetables shares must be paid by 4/30/13 directly to Leffler Farms to secure a drop at DU. Fruit shares must be purchased by 6/1/13 directly to Ela Family Farms to secure a drop at DU. The fruit share is $135, the vegetable shares range from $200-$775.

2. Boxes of fresh produce will be delivered weekly to campus for pickup, in JMAC Hall.

3. The fruit share will provide about 50 pounds of organic fruit (peaches, apples, pears, and cider) over the course of 11 weeks (about 3-6 pounds per week). This will feed a family of 2-4.

4. The vegetable share provides weekly organically grown produce for 10-28 weeks (April to November for the 28 week option, middle of the summer only for the peak share). Vegetables provided will be whatever is in season at the time, typically a wide variety of options, and volume is typically enough to feed 3-4 people vegetables for a week.

What's the value of a CSA program?

In terms of value, when you compare the quantity, quality, nutritional value, and flavor of sustainably, locally grown food that is typically picked within 24 hours of you receiving it, there is a tremendous value. Produce provides peak nutritional value at the time of harvest - each day thereafter, it will lose important nutrients (and often taste). Analysis of CSA costs typically show that this food is being provided below the cost of equivalent food purchased at a supermarket. Additionally, these agricultural dollars go directly to the farmer, ensuring a better quality of life, and dollars spent in the state typically stay in the state, which is a value to our local Colorado economy. As a bonus, you'll get the opportunity to meet your farmer and figure out how your food is grown, while experiencing the benefits of understanding and eating food that is seasonally available.

Why were these farms chosen?

Leffler and Ela Family Farms were chosen for several reasons. Both are established farms using organic practices that had the capacity to meet the needs of the University. Both has the necessary insurance coverage and could arrange for weekly deliveries to campus. Both farms also demonstrated a clear commitment to sustainable growing practices. Finally, these farms offer a variety of produce choices and the offerings simply sound and look downright delicious!

Where (& when) will the pick-up be on campus?

Leffler produce will be delivered on Wednesdays until the Fruit shares begin in August. At that time all produce will be delivered on Tuesdays. You'll need to pick-up your share(s) on the delivery day in the afternoon between 3-5pm. The delivery and pick-up site will be the Center for Sustainability located in Johnson-McFarlane Hall (JMAC). ANY PRODUCE LEFT AT THE END OF THE PICKUP WINDOW WILL BE DISCARDED. Please be sure you can pick-up or arrange for a friend to pick-up on your behalf.

How will pick-up work?

The week of your share(s) delivery, you'll stop by the Northside of JMAC on Wednesday (or Tuesdays beginning in late August) between 3-5pm. The fruit and vegetables will arrive pre-boxed or bagged. If you participate, you'll need to bring reusable bags to pick-up your share for the week so the boxes can be reused.

ANY PRODUCE LEFT AT THE PICKUP WINDOW WILL BE DISCARDED. Please be sure you can pick-up or arrange for a friend to pick-up on your behalf.

What if I can't pay upfront or plan to be gone several weeks?

CSAs require upfront payment. This allows the farms to purchase necessary seeds and supplies and determines what crops and how many they will plant. Upfront payment also secures a drop site at DU. If the cost is prohibitive, we suggest finding a co-worker or friend to split a share or skipping the CSA commitment and look to local farmer's markets to purchase local, in season produce throughout the growing season.

Planning to miss part of the season? You'll probably want to pass on the CSA commitment and also look to local farmer's markets to source your produce.

There are a variety of CSA programs available. Check out other options that might work for you.