Area Fruit, Veggie Lovers Flock to Northcenter CSA Night
Agriculture enthusiasts from all over Chicago showed Monday night for a Community-Supported Agriculture event hosted in Northcenter. More than 15 farmers from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin were there to solicit support for their ventures.
For Lincoln Park resident Sara Korpin, getting in a daily dose of fruits and veggies is a top priority.
"I tend to get sick easily and when I switched my diet and placed an emphasis on all-natural fruits and vegetables, I noticed a big difference in how I felt every day," the 28-year-old said Monday night at a Community Supported Agriculture event in Northcenter. "It's definitely a constant effort. But it's worth it, ya know?"
Korpin was among more than 100 people who filtered in and out Monday of Epiphany United Church of Christ, 2008 W. Bradley Place, where the event was held. Its goal? To showcase 17 CSA farms from throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan that have drop-off sites on the North Side.
Also known as "subscription farming," the CSA model relies on share holders or subscribers who pay a flat seasonal fee in exchange for their weekly "share" of locally grown fruits, vegetables or even eggs or meats.
Laurie Smith, owner of Fat Blossom Farm in Allegan, MI, was among growers meeting and greeting local residents. A resident of Rogers Park, Smith says her son and daughter-in-law run the Michigan farm.
Her CSA drop-offs are currently in Andersonville, Rogers Park and the South Loop, but Smith was gauging interest for a Northcenter spot at Monday's event. She also wants to see more people involved with agriculture.
"We just thought it would be a great chance to meet people in the area," she said. "We would love to have people from this neighborhood come out and enjoy the farm."
Other farms represented included Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm in Ottawa, IL; Montalbano Farms in Sandwich, IL; Earth First Farms in Berrien Center, MI; Tomato Mountain Farm in Brooklyn, WI; and Freedom Organix in Harvard, IL; among many others.
Northcenter Neighborhood Association President Julie Hobert says she hopes to make the event an annual one.
"It's the idea that you have to understand where your food comes from and try to buy it locally," she said, beaming about the strong turnout. "We have a strong environmental committee and garden club. … This is a great addition to all of that."