Grow Youngstown seeks participants in CSA program

Grow Youngstown helps support local farmers in the Mahoning Valley.Grow Youngstown’s Community Supported Agriculture program, which offers local residents the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally produced foods for the summer, begins Tuesday, June 19.

During the 18-week program that runs through Oct. 23, family and single-sized shares of seasonal fruit and vegetables are brought from farms within a 40-mile radius to three community pick-up locations every Tuesday afternoon. The pick-up locations are: Trumbull Neighborhood Partners on the square in downtown Warren, the Fairgreen Community Garden at the corner of Fairgreen and Ohio avenues in Youngstown and the Davis Family YMCA on McClurg Road in Boardman.

Additional foods, such as locally raised grass-fed meats, honey, cheese, butter and eggs, are also available.

“CSA keeps food dollars local and contributes to the community’s economy by buying from urban and rural farmers in the tri-county area,” said Jim Andrews, Youngstown State University Physics professor and a member of Grow Youngtown’s Board of Directors.

Andrews, who said several YSU faculty, staff and students are involved in the Grow Youngstown initiative, said the CSA program helps financially support local farmers by purchasing foods with “subscription dollars” from CSA members. The benefit to over 150 area CSA families and members is the assurance of locally-grown fruits and vegetables brought to them every week, he said. Grow Youngstown’s subsidized shares also make fresh, healthy food available to low-income households.

To become a Grow Youngstown CSA member and receive weekly shares of fresh, locally produced foods, visit Grow Youngstown online or call 330-286-0688.  Sponsors for low-income family shares are also needed. The cost for a family share for the full 18-week program is $450, while a single share is $250.

Grow Youngstown, now in its fifth year, is part of the rapidly growing national movement toward locally produced foods and healthy farming practices.