by Carol Lea Spence
(March 5, 2014) ― Registration continues for the 2014 season of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Community Supported Agriculture project. All UK faculty, staff and students are eligible to enroll in the program, which provides them with a weekly share of fresh, certified organic vegetables from May through October. The project is an integral part of the experiential education component of the college’s sustainable agriculture undergraduate degree program.
Community Supported Agriculture is a subscription-based program where consumers buy “shares” in a farm’s output. Farmers benefit from having a reliable source of funds to help them operate in an economically sustainable manner. Members benefit from receiving fresh, local and affordable produce from growers they know and trust.
UKAg’s CSA project is not a commercial venture. It is open only to members of the UK community. Undergraduate apprentices in the sustainable agriculture program provide the majority of the skills and labor necessary to produce, harvest, and deliver the shares. The farm acts as both a formal and informal classroom, affording students hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture practices. All financial proceeds from the sale of produce support production costs and student educational activities, including student study tours and support for conference attendance.
UK CSA shareholders will receive a weekly assortment of produce harvested from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic unit of the Horticulture Research Farm in Lexington from May 29 to Oct. 23. In addition, shareholders will have access to a variety of u-pick crops available on the farm.
The number of shares is limited and offered on a first-come first-served basis. Share costs are $616 for faculty and staff and $528 for students. Payment may be made in full at the start of the season or in four separate installments of $154 for faculty and staff and $132 for students. Members must pick up their weekly allotment at the E.S. Good Barn each Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. EDT.