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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Fresh Veggies Planted with Love Nourish Neighbors with Life-Threatening Illnesses

Open Arms of Minnesota grows vegetables for their clients’ meals and the Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) initiative through the Open Farms program.

With the help of several thousand volunteers, Open Farms Farm Coordinator Kelly Wilson has turned vacant city lots into vibrant vegetable gardens. Last year they produced more than 15,000 pounds of produce by transforming five underutilized urban spaces into space for growing healthy food.

Wilson uses organic methods and a variety of different growing techniques to maximize efficiency and space as well as increase productivity. The gardens produce kale, tomatoes, beans, carrots, onions, potatoes, herbs and many other nutritious crops. Produce is brought to Open Arms’ commercial kitchen and either used in medically tailored meals for critically ill clients or packed in CSA boxes.

Open Farms CSAs offer farm-to-table enthusiasts the opportunity to join the local food movement and enjoy fresh veggies while doing good-supporting free, nutritious meals for people living with life-threatening illnesses.

The CSA season runs for 16 weeks, mid-June through the end of September, with two options: full share (a box of produce every week) or half share (a box of produce every other week). CSA shares include approximately 10 items of seasonal produce plus a selection of fresh herbs as well as a newsletter with recipes, farm updates and the next week's veggie forecast. A handful of half or full CSA shares can still be purchased.

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Read the full April 2021 Magazine