LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas is entering the second year of Crops to Campus, a partnership with Common Harvest CSA to provide a produce subscription service to the Lawrence KU community. Faculty, staff and students are invited to sign up for the 2016 growing season online.
CSAs, or community-supported agriculture programs, provide weekly produce deliveries for individuals and families, who in turn support the farms growing the produce through the purchase of a share, or subscription. The Common Harvest CSA program is composed of five certified organic farms from within Douglas County: Moon on the Meadow, Buller Family Farm, The Red Tractor Farm, Juniper Hill Farms and Mellowfields Urban Farm, which joins them this year.
In its first year, Crops to Campus had nearly 200 KU subscribers. This year Common Harvest is prepared to provide up to 300 shares to their KU Lawrence CSA site. Members of the Lawrence community are also able to sign up for CSA through Common Harvest.
Subscribers have their choice of a full share: 7-8 items, including vegetables, fruits and sometimes eggs, for a subscription price of $18 per week; or a partial share, which is 4-5 items for $13 per week. The 2016 subscription season lasts 24 weeks, from the third week of May until the last week of October. “Back to School” shares will also be offered for faculty or students who will leave Lawrence for the summer. These subscriptions are eight weeks long and will begin the week of Labor Day and last through October 2016. Participants will again have their choice of two campus pickup locations occurring on different days of the week.
An end-of-season survey conducted in November 2015 among Crops to Campus subscribers revealed overwhelming satisfaction with the program, especially in regard to individual goals for health and support of local food. Survey results showed that the largest motivators for participating in the program were foremost to support local farms and second to eat healthier. Of those who responded to the survey, 62 percent credited the program with their household eating more fresh produce than usual, and 85 percent said they ate more local foods.
Crops to Campus is a collaboration among the KU Faculty/Staff Wellness Committee, KU Watkin’s Health Services, KU Athletics, KU Dining Services, KU Endowment, Recreation Services and the KU Center for Sustainability, in partnership with Common Harvest CSA.