by Kathryn Johnson
LA VETA — On Thursday, Feb. 16, Heloise Lynn of Two Peaks Transition presided over an initial organizational meeting to explore the formation of a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, in La Veta.
A CSA would enable paying members to have access to fresh, organically and locally grown food. Currently, there is a subscription-based group in La Veta for residents to buy organic produce, which includes some locally grown items. Mountain Harmony Natural Foods in Walsenburg carries some locally grown organic produce and foods. Also, Gardner hosts a seasonal open air market on Saturdays from May through October.
However, “locally” sometimes refers to grown in Colorado and not necessarily Huerfano County. A CSA would reduce the need for products to be shipped into the community and would support local growers. Models for a CSA were discussed, including the recruitment of backyard gardeners to provide a percentage of their vegetables and a community area for gardening.
In order to supply the area with fresh produce year round, the group discussed the need to grow in greenhouses, whether it be community greenhouses or personal greenhouses. Some ideas for greenhouses included earthbermed structures, walipini greenhouses, and aquaponics systems, all of which accommodate Huerfano County’s unique off-season growing challenges.
Heloise informed the group that grants may become available from LiveWell Huerfano, an organization that promotes healthy eating and active living, which has a task force committed to Huerfano County’s ability to access affordable, safe and healthy food. While funding will not be available until next year, CSA members can start developing work flows and create greenhouse prototypes.
In order to receive grants, the CSA will need to come up with a budget and business plan, and gain members interested in supporting the CSA with labor and/or monetary contributions. Eventually the CSA could grow into the ability to sell surplus produce at a local Farmer’s Market. Those who are interested in joining the CSA or who have questions regarding Two Peaks Transition may contact Heloise Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.