Local, fresh food club on campus thrives during test run

October 28, 2011 | News, UToday
By Nicolette Jett

The University of Toledo’s Urban Affairs Center plans to continue a fresh, local food agriculture program on campus through a partnership with a Tiffin family farm.

Dave Goodman of Riehm Farms helped Kristy Woodman and her daughter, Karsyn, during a stop on Main Campus last month.

The center conducted a survey last fall to gauge interest in such a program, and more than half surveyed expressed interest. This year, UT students and faculty and staff members received a chance to participate in the pilot run of the club.

“The Community Supported Agriculture Program is one part of the Urban Affairs Center’s ongoing work with local food systems,” said Jeanette Eckert, interim research assistant and survey research services manager in the center. “We are pleased to continue to work with Riehm Farms to provide local food to our campus community.”

Riehm Farms, located in Tiffin, has partnered with the center to offer fresh vegetables and fruits to the campus community.

“We decided to participate with The University of Toledo in an effort to introduce faculty and students to local food systems,” said Diane Riehm, who owns Riehm Farms along with her husband, John. “Most produce these days comes from outside of Ohio and even out of the country. Our goal is to support other local farmers and keep the revenue earned in state.”

Every week during the growing season, participants can bring their empty canvas bag and exchange with the farmers for a new bag of fresh produce. As part of the weekly program, participants also receive a weekly newsletter filled with recipes and tips on the preservation of produce.

Open registration for the next season is expected to begin in November, with produce delivery tentatively scheduled for early June. Payment is due at registration, which is first-come, first-served. The program options include two bags or one bag of produce each week for $32 or $16 a week, respectively. Payments of $640 and $320 for the 20-week season are due at registration.

There are nearly 50 people in the Community Supported Agriculture Program. Eckert said UT and Riehm Farms hope the number of campus participants will double in the coming year and reach a goal of 250 overall in the northwest Ohio region.

Click here for more information on Riehm Farms.

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