It’s something not many people know, but across Hartford, there are dozens of urban farmers, growing healthy, affordable produce.
Now, a new program from Hartford Food System is harnessing their collective power through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), bringing weekly produce bags to anyone interested in having healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
The program is called Hartford Harvest Farm Share. It’s now in its 6th week of an 18-week growing season that runs through October.
Participants sign up for a share in the program, beginning at just $30 per week, or you can buy into the whole season. Weekly, participants can get food grown in and around Hartford by local growers.
One of the urban farms utilized by the program is at Oak Hill Institute in Hartford’s North End. It’s an area with historically limited fresh food options, but the Food System’s leaders and farmers are hoping to change that.
“There’s a lot of people I know in the community that do grow their own food. So you can do it. It's possible," said Tanica Walcott-Thompson, a Hartford resident who farms at Oak Hill. "We grow eggplant, cucumber, a few herbs like oregano, chives, lemon balm. I think I have some mint here.”
Hartford Food System’s new executive director, Billie Scruse, says locally grown food, available in every community at a low price, is something the CSA program is helping to make a reality in Hartford.
“When you think about organic produce, it has no shelf life. It was an opportunity to think outside of the box, oo really look at a different way of working with local farmers and working with community stakeholders,” Scruse said.