The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Kentucky Proud brand is partnering with Bluegrass Farm To Table, the Organic Association of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Horticulture Council to host the first-of-its-kind “Kentucky Virtual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair” from April 16 - 30, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced today.
“The KDA and local food partners are teaming up to support Kentucky families who have lost access to markets due to restaurant and business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Quarles said. “One way we are doing that is to encourage Kentuckians to sign up for CSA delivery or pick-up of Kentucky produce, proteins, and more. I would like to thank all of our partners for hosting this virtual CSA sign-up fair so that Kentuckians can continue accessing fresh farm products.”
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a way for consumers to subscribe to local farms and farmers on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. CSAs offer a variety of delivery and pickup options. In a time when consumers are advised to practice social distancing, a CSA share is an additional option for them to locate local produce, proteins, and other products.
CSA businesses typically hold in-person sign-up events during the spring months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are invited to participate in the Virtual Kentucky CSA Fair through Facebook starting on April 16. From April 16-30, Kentucky Proud will promote the virtual fair though digital advertising funded by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. To participate in the virtual fair, consumers should visit www.kyproud.com/CSA.
“Bluegrass Farm to Table has hosted an in-person CSA for Lexington farms for the past four years, and was poised to do so again this year before the emergence of COVID-19,” Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said. “We are pleased to join this opportunity to connect consumers with a wide variety of fresh, healthy, local food options, and to let the public know that our farmers are still open for business.”
“Participating in CSA is an easy and nutritious way to ensure consumers have access to locally grown, seasonal foods. An increasing number of Kentucky farms offer certified organic produce or animal protein CSAs and consumers can find one by looking for the familiar United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic seal," Brooke Gentile of the Organic Association of Kentucky said. "Know your farmer, enjoy regular shares of the farm's harvest, and have access to convenient CSA pickup locations all season long by signing up to be a CSA member.”
“Consumers will be impressed by the diversity of high-quality vegetables, fruits, and other farm products our Kentucky growers can provide,” said Cindy Finneseth, executive director for the Kentucky Horticulture Council. “Purchasing a CSA share is a great way to directly engage with and support local farms.”