The forecast may have been cloudy, but the 22nd Annual Seward Co-op CSA Fair was a clear success. Representatives from more than twenty local farms set up under the tent to meet and talk with community members about their available CSA shares, offer samples, and demonstrate the value of a robust local food system. From produce to meat, eggs, cheese, mushrooms, coffee, and more, farm specialties were on display in a vibrant bouquet that visitors happily perused as the afternoon wore on. Farms new to the fair chatted alongside veteran producers, visitors signed up for shares, and smiles were abundant. Seward Co-op is dedicated to helping build a food system that values inclusivity, environmental responsibility, equity, and access, and this year’s CSA Fair was a prime example of these values in action.
22nd Annual CSA Fair Recap
“Look how many people are here! I think everybody is really stoked about healthy living.” – Open Farms, Open Arms of Minnesota
General Manager Welcome Party and Creamery Tours
In addition to featuring nearly two dozen farms, the CSA Fair was an opportunity to celebrate our new General Manager Ray Williams with a welcome party. Alongside Seward-made snacks and refreshments, Ray met and chatted with visitors to the CSA Fair, who were invited to join in on the celebration. Board President LaDonna Sanders Redmond welcomed the crowd under the tent and marked the important occasion of Ray’s hiring, looking toward a bright future for Seward Co-op. Members of the board also invited fairgoers to take guided tours of the historic Co-op Creamery building, and encouraged those visitors to add to a visioning board at the end of the tour with their thoughts on the future of the space.
“It’s good to meet a whole new customer base and see what their needs are…. Meeting the customers inspires you and gives you motivation.” – The Hidden Paradise Farm
Fun with Bingo, Prizes, and Midwest Food Connection
The festivities were rounded out with fun and games, as attendees were able to spin a wheel to win prizes, play a CSA Fair bingo game, and kids were invited to plant seeds with Midwest Food Connection (MFC). Our community partner at past fairs, MFC is a local education non-profit founded by local food co-ops, including Seward Co-op. MFC provides lessons in cooking, gardening, and eating healthy food to elementary school students.
“[One of the benefits of the CSA Fair is] talking to people about what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. It helps people understand small farms better. It’s an opportunity to meet our members face to face.” – Racing Heart Farm