Community food share program in Middletown provides fresh produc - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Community food share program in Middletown provides fresh products

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Channel 3's Mark Zinni checked out a new food share program in Middletown. (WFSB) Channel 3's Mark Zinni checked out a new food share program in Middletown. (WFSB)
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

In Middletown, a food share program is redefining the question “What’s for dinner?”

"Kohlrabi, squash, spring garlic and a few little scapes,” said Dave Walsh, who was stocking up on vegetables on Tuesday, thanks to Forest City Farms in Middletown.

"First of all, obviously, it couldn't be fresher - they're picking it today, the day that you pick it up. It's organic - we're trying to make healthier life choices especially in our diet,” Walsh said.

He and 39 other people are part of the new Community Supported Agriculture program.

They all pre-buy a share of what is grown on the land for 18 weeks, then they pick up bags of the freshest vegetables you can find.

"Yeah, the radishes have been amazing, the kale is fantastic, we got some squash last week. I'm really excited about the garlic and the spinach this week,” Walsh said.

“It makes all the 16, 18 hour days’ worth it. You know, farming is a labor of love so you really have to enjoy it, be passionate about it. That's the reward you get,” said Gabriel Russo, of Forest City Farms.

Russo and his business partner are the farmers in a unique situation with the city.

They got the land at no cost, cleaned it up, and planted the crops. As part of the deal, they sell shares at full price, but they reduce the price for low-income residents, and some shelters get donations at no cost.

"No, it's not about the money. He's taking care of the land for the city, which benefits us, then the community gets the donation to people who aren't involved in the CSA, so paying in fruits and vegetables, it's awesome,” said Michelle Ford, of the City of Middletown.

While it’s too late to buy-in for this summer, they’re about to start taking orders for the fall, and on Saturday they are hosting their first public farmers market.

"We'll do it right here and we're going to keep going until the weather tells us not to be here anymore,” Russo said.

The market on Saturday will run from 10 to 1.

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