Greensburg is surrounded by farmland, but most locally grown crops aren’t directly available for purchase by locals. In order to take advantage of regional specialties, you have to do a bit of “digging.”
One way to sink your teeth into local produce is by joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). When starting a CSA, a farmer determines the number of shares of her produce she wants to sell. A share typically consists of a box of vegetables and is sometimes supplemented with other produce or foods. We are lucky enough to have a CSA in Kiowa County run by Kathleen and Joe Blair of Haviland, Kansas. This year they are growing an impressive variety of produce including strawberries, spinach, lettuce, green onions, onions, potatoes, peas, Swiss chard, zucchini, yellow summer squash, pattypan squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, tomatoes (many varieties), peppers (hot and bell), cucumbers, corn, green beans, radishes, carrots, turnips, beets, sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkins, and gourds. Because these plants receive personalized care and are raised in their natural growing season, they are flavorful and nutritious in a way mass-produced food isn’t.
As a member of their CSA, you get a share of seasonal produce every week for 21 weeks from the first week in June until the last week in October. In order to join, contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kathleen normally likes to know who is interested by the beginning of April so she knows how much to plant, but it might be possible to join now. A full share is $300 plus tax, but shareholders can pair up and split the cost if they are both interested in half shares. Shareholders aren’t expected to help with the harvesting, but one can help if one is interested.
Another option to enjoy fresh, locally grown produce is to participate in a Community Garden. This is a plot of land gardened by a collective group of people. Community Gardens are becoming especially desirable in cities where residents can establish a connection with the land, have access to fresh food, and develop community. This is GreenTown’s second year of having a garden in the backyard of our Silo Eco-Home. We are growing strawberries, squash, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and a few flowers. We are very thankful to our volunteers who help us keep our garden watered in the unforgiving south-central Kansas summer! When our fruits and veggies are ready to pick, everyone is welcome to our produce free of charge; however, our volunteers will have first choice. People interested in volunteering should contact GreenTown at (620) 723-2790. Here’s to a bountiful harvest!