Curious about community supported agriculture? This Examiner is a “working” member of Colorado Wise Acres (CWA) Farm in Fort Lupton, Colorado. Take a sneak peek into one of over 100 CSAs in the state.
CWA is fairly new, but not only offers fresh “organically” grown produce (no synthetic/fossil fuel based pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers), but also sells fresh eggs and breeds a number of heirloom livestock.
CWA calls itself “community sustainable agriculture,” as most of their customers are located in Denver and other areas of the Metro Area.
The season is early, but CWA is offering a variety of fresh greens in their weekly deliveries to specific locations and at a number of farmers’ markets in Denver and Aurora. These vegetables include: spinach, kale, radishes, chives, mint and much more! As the season picks up, members can expect to receive up to 45 pounds of produce a week.
Later in the season, there should be melons, cucumbers, a wide variety of summer and winter squash, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, onions and more. This Examiner helped with the planting this spring and looks forward to the harvest in the fall and late summer.
The Barkeys run and live on the farm just north of Fort Lupton, where they also breed heirloom sheep and pigs.
The Soay sheep are now with their lambs, and the rams are kept in a separate corral. Their wool is used in clothing and the sheep can be eaten, but CWA does not sell meat. They breed and sell the animals to other farmers.
The African Guinea hogs look much like pot-belly pigs and all have different personalities. The boar was in his house snoring on this scorching hot day, while his offspring and sow were being showered under the hose in separate pens.
The hens are kept busy to lay eggs in chicken coops with a few crowing roosters. This is in contrast to factory farm chickens, which are crammed into cages, debeaked, and many never walk on soil their entire lives. Many factory farm chickens never see the light of day. However, the chickens at CWA enjoy fresh air and sunshine and when the garden isn’t growing, the chickens are free range. (Chickens can damage crops; chickens are omnivores and eat bugs and plants of all varieties.)
CWA currently has 72 members and is growing each year. In order to become a member, it is best to join a CSA prior to the growing season for the best prices and availability. January or February is the best time to join a CSA.
One of the largest is Grant Family Farms. This Examiner is a previous member of this CSA. However, CWA offers better prices, larger shares, and is more convenient to have a working share for her proximity.
However Grant Family Farms does deliver to your neighborhood throughout Colorado. They are a consortium of many different types of farms throughout the state. Their shares may include fresh fruit like Colorado peaches, apple cider, cherries, eggs, wine and more!
Shop around next season for the best option for you, because you can’t beat fresh local produce! If you still want to get fresh local produce, check out your local farmers’ markets or see if the CSAs have any more membership openings.
When you visit a farmers’ market, always ask where the produce is grown, how it was grown (organically or traditionally) and check the quality. Not all farmers’ markets sell just Colorado produce. Some sell produce grown in Mexico and sold at the local farmers’ markets, so always ask if you’re not sure.
It’s not too late you grow your own garden, even in containers!