Instead of meal planning and putting together a weekly grocery list, what if you relied on what’s in season at a local farm to cook for your family? If you’re like one of the 40 families who are participating in community-supported agriculture with Cold Frame Farm in Bruce Township, that’s exactly what you do.
Community-supported agriculture, also known as CSA, joins families and local farmers together by giving families the opportunity to buy a share of the farm.
Participants pay ahead of time, which in turn allows the farmer to pay staff and grow produce. Families then receive fresh produce on a regular basis, typically from spring until fall.
“Most of the people that are in the CSA are either environmentalists, foodies or really health conscious people, and it really takes a commitment on their part to think in reverse,” says Lisa Jaroch, farmer and owner of Cold Frame Farm. “So, instead of going to the grocery store and buying what they need to make spaghetti, they come here, pick up their produce and then they make their menu around what I give them.”
For 20 weeks, between mid-June and the end of October, CSA participants can pick up certified organic produce, which was harvested 1-2 days prior, from this Bruce Township Farm. Jaroch will even throw some recipe ideas their way too if they are not sure what to do with certain produce. Pea pods, carrots, broccoli, blackberries, strawberries, onions and garlic are just some of the things grown here.
“The most important thing about here in the CSA is that we do spring crops, summer crops and fall crops, so we grow what is in season because that’s what supposed to grow at that time and that gives you the best flavor,” she says.
CSAs are just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting the freshest produce in Macomb County. In fact, there are farm stands and stores, plus farmers markets to find the best produce. Here’s more on Macomb County’s agricultural offerings.
Farm to table
Macomb County boasts more than 400 farms, which make up 73,000 acres of land. Of these farms, 96% are family-owned, just like Kutchey Family Farm in Macomb Township.
“We take really big pride in having super fresh, high quality produce,” says Amanda Kutchey, daughter to Joe and Sue Kutchey who own and operate the farm.
“We stand behind everything that we sell and we want to make sure our customers are happy.”
The farm has been in operation since the 1800s when it was a farmhouse that sold potatoes, eggs and milk.
“A lot of the farms that you know today out in the northern portion of Macomb actually started down in the Warren area,” Kutchey, who runs the farm’s social media and off-farm market, says. “Our original farm was on 10 Mile between Dequindre and Ryan.” The farm moved to the 26 Mile Road location when Joe Kutchey was in kindergarten.
The new location allowed them plenty of space to grow and today, the farm sits on 150 acres of land and harvests fruits and vegetables for costumers to purchase at its own family market. The market is open 7 days a week from the beginning in May and running through the first weekend in December with some closures in between.
“Everything that we sell is from our fields to customers within the next day. We pick and then we sort and wash and get it prepared and it’s out at the market,” Kutchey says.
Interested in finding farmers markets, farm stands and CSAs in Macomb County? For a complete list, visit the Make Macomb Your Home Website.