By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Feb 04, 2020 at 11:01 AM

"In a world with so many intractable problems – homelessness, war, financial and political instability – joining a CSA is a small, but concrete act that improves our land, community, economy and quality of life. It is a small act with big consequences." Simon Huntley, CEO of Small Farm Central

It’s time to think spring. And you can do just that at the Local Farmer Open House, which takes place on Saturday, March 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Urban Ecology Center-Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Pl.

This year’s event, which is free and open to the public, highlights a number of brand new farms, urban community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription options (including meat and fish) and workshops to assist you in making the best use of summer’s bounty.

The Local Farmer Open House is also family friendly, with plenty of activities for kids including farm-themed games, opportunities to explore the world of decomposition and pollination and a chance to plant their own seedling to take home.

Before you go, be sure to capture the moment on film in the Local Farmer Open House photo booth and enjoy a purchased lunch from Simple Cafe.

New CSA options

A CSA is a subscription to a season’s worth of sustainable, locally grown produce that is distributed to members throughout the harvesting season. It is a form of investment that allows small farmers to continue growing on a scale that may not be sustainable without the CSA model. CSA members enjoy the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables for their family, while supporting a local farm.

If you haven’t considered joining a CSA for a number of years, you might be surprised by the new options that are available. Some of the things you’ll find at the Local Farmer Open House include:

All attendees who sign up for a CSA share during the event are also eligible to sign up to win a door prize gift basket.

Free workshops

There’s also plenty of knowledge to be shared about how to choose the best CSA, how to create your own CSA and how to make the best use of the bounty from area farms.

CSA Basics Workshop
11:30 a.m.
Learn how Community Supported Agriculture works and how to select the farm subscription that's right for you.

Cooking Demo: Simple Cafe
12:15 p.m.
Join the chef from Simple Cafe for a demonstration using farm fresh ingredients.

CSA Basics Workshop
1 p.m.
Learn how Community Supported Agriculture works and how to select the farm subscription that's right for you.

Cooking from Your CSA Box
1:45 p.m.
How to use the contents of your CSA box to prepare quick healthy meals. Recipes, tips and resources for cooking seasonally from scratch will be provided.

For more information, visit the Urban Ecology Center website or RSVP on Facebook.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.