Bring the farmers market to your freezer: Winter Sun Farms offers a frozen CSA

Freezer pleasers: Winter Sun Farms’ CSA processes produce before they freeze it, so items like butternut squash come pre-pureed. Photo by Moriah H. Petersen.

If you haven't stocked up on enough local produce to last through the winter, don't fret. Blue Ridge Food Ventures has you covered.

Since summertime, the BRFV crew has processed and frozen between 6 and 7 tons of locally grown food, including berries, applesauce, tomatoes and squash for their Winter Sun Farms CSA program.

From December through March, the items they so resolutely stored will be available to members at once-monthly markets. “You can look forward to all the frozen items that you pretty much can work with in the summer,” says Chris Reedy, program manager. “You know: tomatoes, okra, green beans.”

The subscription is interactive, so patrons who arrive early to the pickup sites might be able to choose which produce they want. The included items vary each month. “It’s always a surprise, and people like that,” says Mary Lou Surgi, executive director of BRFV.

In its fourth year, the program has expanded its membership and its offerings. Shelf-stable foods, such as honey and possibly grits, will come with the CSA membership. Fresh greens from Jolley Farms are also included. These greens are hard to come by since the farm doesn't sell them in retail settings. If you've eaten them in the past, odds are you were visiting Curaté, Red Stag Grill or The Grove Park Inn. “[Their] quality is just out of this world,” Reedy says.

The market welcomes the public in addition to Winter Sun Farms CSA members. While certain products sell only through the subscriptions, local farmers will gather at the markets to sell eggs, meat and prepared products.

Subscriptions are still available for $125 or $135, depending on where you want to receive the food, and include eight items. Pickup locations include Blue Ridge Food Ventures, the Grove Arcade, the Flat Rock Tailgate Market and Growdown Home Market in Black Mountain. BRFV will continue to sell subscriptions until they reach their limit (400 members) or until the first market in early December.

For more information, visit wintersunfarmsnc.com or call 348 – 0130.

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