Eat healthy, build community by supporting a CSA

By Kevin O'Connor
Posted April 5, 2017

Eat healthy, build community by supporting a CSA

Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) brings growers and consumers together to make fresh food more affordable while providing growers with a fair price, supporting sustainable farming practices and, often, a fulfilling a broader mission. Those interested in tasty, healthy, locally-grown produce should consider purchasing a share in a CSA enterprise for the summer.

Members buy a “share” in advance of the growing season and, in turn, receive a weekly share of a CSA farm’s bounty.

Two of the university’s non-profit community partners offer CSA shares at pick-up sites conveniently located near Metropolitan State campuses.


The Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) advances the prosperity of Hmong farmers through cooperative endeavors, capacity building and advocacy.  HAFA offers several CSA share options:

  • Five-week spring share (May to June): early season produce (rhubarb, peas, greens, asparagus, strawberries, etc.) $170. Register by April 17.
  • Fourteen-week summer share (June 21 to Sept. 21): wide varieties of staple and specialty produce (edamame, ground cherries, bitter melon, lemongrass and more.) Full share (for four or more people), $325; half share (two or more people), $175. Register by April 30.
  • Fourteen-week flower share (June 21 to Sept. 21): fresh seasonal bouquets. Register by April 30.
  • Seven-week fall share (Sept. 27-Nov. 9)—Late-season produce such as winter squash, varied potatoes, onions, garlic, Brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, herbs. Full share, $175; half share, $95. Register by July 30.

Food Pick Up

Saint Paul deliveries are made on Thursdays at Mississippi Market, 740 E. 7th St., East Side YMCA, 875 Arcade St., HAFA office, 941 Lafond Ave., and Nexus Community Partners, 2314 University Ave W. Minneapolis sites, delivered on Wednesdays, include Washburn Center for Children, 1100 Glenwood Ave., Whittier Recreation Center, 437 W. 26th St., and Pillsbury House + Theatre, 3501 Chicago Ave.

For information and to sign up, click here.

For any questions, contact or, our phone 651.493.8091.

Urban Roots

Another CSA option, Urban Roots, builds vibrant and healthy communities through food, conservation and youth development. Its youth-run CSA now enters its 20th season, operating from six urban production sites on the East Side of Saint Paul.  This CSA includes a mix of over 50 high-quality heirloom and standard varieties of vegetables, herbs and occasional flowers.

Urban Roots offers a 10-week summer garden share (June-August) for $250 and a 16-week extended garden share (June-October) for $400. A tax-deductible portion of each share ($50 or $80, respectively) supports the growth, education and incomes of area youth through Urban Roots’ gardening, health and cooking, and conservation programs.

Other benefits include recipes and samples, special events, opportunities to meet the young growers and knowing that members supports learning, community action, hard work and connections to the environment.

Food Pick Up

CSA pick-up is located at Mississippi Market,740 E. 7th St., Wednesdays after 3 p.m., mid-June to mid-October. For information on how to get involved with Urban Roots or to sign up for a CSA online, click here.