Have you ever seen First Taste, the video of babies tasting different foods for the first time? It’s precious. The babies try everything from yogurt to anchovies and their reactions, displaying the vast emotional range of food, reflect an honest beauty.
I stumbled upon that video at the Terra Madre conference, where I learned the importance of introducing food and eating at an early age. Not only does this establish a diverse palette which as research shows, is linked to healthy eating behavior as an adult, but the acculturation of welcoming a child at a dinner table, even if they are still in infancy, teaches children how to eat and care about food. It places food at the center of human development.
I care a lot about food. I work with farmers so I’m a little biased, but I also love to eat. After years of working on farms, I’ve witnessed how farming shapes our environment. The way we farm really matters. Our natural resources, including the people that grow our food, nourish us. It is our duty, as part of this massive and abundantly rich ecosystem we call earth, to enrich and cultivate them in a healthy way.
I am not a farmer, but as a lover of food I do know that there are many ways I can support the kind of farming that builds resilient and healthy communities. One way is by becoming a member of Big River Farms Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA.
Minnesota Food Association – Big River Farms
Big River Farms is operated by Minnesota Food Association – a program of The Food Group – in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. We run an education program for beginning farmers providing technical assistance in organic vegetable production, post-harvest handling, business planning, and marketing. Farmers enrolled in the program come from all over the world. Most have immigrated to this country in the last thirty years, and they take pride in working the land to provide food for their families and their community.
Overall, our work focuses on building social and economic opportunities for marginalized populations. Our Farmer Education Program supports farmers so they can learn to farm organically, gain access to land and capital, and develop independent farm business. Some of the barriers these farmers face are access to land and infrastructure, but they are also eager to learn how to grow in a different climate, to become certified organic and develop targeted marketing strategies to identify their customer base.
Your Big River Farms CSA Share Supports Local Farmers
Becoming a member of our Big River Farms CSA means you are investing in a future farmer of America. As a member, you ensure that farmers of color in our community have access to a guaranteed market for their product so that they can focus on growing tasty and healthy food and not worry if it will sell. In return, these farmers work extra hard to provide you with weekly deliveries of certified organic produce grown right here in the greater metro area. Farmers practice sustainable growing methods, produce is harvested and delivered on the same day so it tastes incredibly fresh, and it only travels about 40 miles to get to your dinner plate.
At Big River Farms, we believe that our commitment to farmers and to building small-scale local food systems is a commitment to the future health and resilience of Minnesota. We take great care of our land and farmers to ensure that healthy food is accessible to all. Our Big River Farms farmers want to share their food with you so that your family can explore the beauty of eating together.
We’d love to welcome you as a member of Big River Farms for the 2018 growing season.
Visit our website for more information and to sign up for your 2018 CSA share!
This post was written by Lebo Moore, Minnesota Food Association Food Hub Manager. Questions about our CSA? Contact Lebo!