Grow the Yo

Grow Youngstown Community Supported Agriculture Farm is a program that will once again offer fresh, locally produced food to the Youngstown neighborhood.

Elsa Higby, founder of Grow Youngstown and director of CSA, described their mission.

“To create a healthy, socially just, economically viable and inter-dependent local food system promoting the sustainable growth of food, forest, forage and fuel,” Higby said. “We are dedicated to reducing our carbon imprint, raising local agricultural skills and resources in Youngstown and neighboring communities.”

Grow Youngstown CSA supplies seasonal fruit and vegetables to the community at a pickup location every Tuesday afternoon. Farmers within a 30-mile radius of Youngstown and Warren freshly grow the produce.

Grow Youngstown provides different food packages, such as year-round or an 18-week package.

However, the year-round package is already closed, but the 18-week package begins on June 18.

Higby explained how interested customers can sign up.

“Sign-ups for the 18-week package run through [June 12]. Customers can buy shares online or by sending checks. For a single share it is $270, and for a family share it is $486. Customers can also choose to sign up for a weekly payment plan if they didn’t want to pay in full. We also offer a subsidized share for families below poverty level,” Higby said.

Grow Youngtown also offers value added packages that includes items such as chicken, coffee, cheese, butter and eggs.

The pick-up locations are Fellows Riverside Gardens, the East Side Public Library, the Poland Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, the Davis Family YMCA on McClurg Road in Boardman, and the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership square in downtown Warren.

For customers who are unable to meet at the community pick-up locations, CSA offers a delivery service.

“The delivery service is $135 for 18 weeks and $187 for 25 weeks. Customers can choose also their preference of pick-up location” Higby said.

Gary Walker, a professor and chairman of the Youngstown State University Biological Science Department, is an active participant of Grow Youngstown.

“I first became involved about five years ago when CSA was developed. I am subscribed to the single-family package, and I choose to go to the Boardman YMCA location for pick-up,” Walker said.

Walker said he chooses to participate with the CSA for many reasons.

“Obviously, the taste of the food. Since the food is freshly grown, I control the quality of the food because I can actually go out and visit these farms.

CSA insures that there are no pesticides or chemicals involved in the growing [of] their food,” Walker said.

Besides the taste, Walker said there is another reason he is an active participant of Grow Youngstown CSA.

“Also, CSA offers a much more efficient use of energy. The food in our stores consumes a tremendous amount of energy with transportation. When dealing with CSA, it cuts back on a lot of energy costs when receiving food from local farmers,” Walker said.

Customers interested in Grow Youngstown CSA can visit www.growyoungstown.org for more information or call 330-286-0688.

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