Community Supported Agriculture
Area families buy shares in Manawa farm
By Holly Neumann
Triple B Produce brings Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to area communities.
Mike and Brenda Thyssen, who own Triple B Produce, believe that CSA makes it easy to eat locally-grown, fresh produce during the harvest season.
“Your produce is fresher and lasts longer,” said Brenda. “It keeps your money local and you know where your produce is coming from.”
According to Thyssens, this type of business is important to farmers because CSA members purchase shares prior to them planting their crops.
“This way we receive payment ahead of time and it gives us the capital we need to buy our seeds,” said Brenda. “Our business is growing. Last year we had 50 families and this year we have 55.”
Full shares cost $345 and receive weekly produce.
Half-shares are $198 and have the option of weekly half-share or bi-weekly full-share.
“Harvests typically start sometime in June and run through the fall harvest,” said Brenda. “We deliver to Waupaca, New London, Greenville and Appleton.”
She noted that share holders may also pick up weekly from the farm.
“I love fresh vegetables,” said shareholder Ruth Lord. “I used to have my own garden all the time, but now that I am by myself, I don’t want to. This is a great way for me to get all the vegetables I want.”
Work shares are also available.
“I started out just buying shares,” Faye Wolhrabe said. “But now I work here too. Sometimes I just come out here and volunteer my time as well. I really enjoy it out here.”
Wolhrabe, who has been a shareholder for eight years, stated that she loves the variety of vegetables.
“And it is nice knowing that it is all pesticide free,” she said.
According to Thyssen, shareholders can work two hours weekly for a half share or four hours for a full one.
“It is a win-win situation,” Brenda said.
Community Supported Agriculture is also a good opportunity for children to become involved.
“Madison and Lucas Hanna usually help me out on Mondays,” said Brenda. “There is a lot for them to learn out here.”
The youngsters agree.
“I was surprised by the amount of work that goes into it all,” said 10-year-old Lucas.
“We thought you just planted it and then picked it,” added 12-year-old Madison.
The duo appears to love what they are doing as well.
“Last week we picked 96 pounds of broccoli,” said Lucas. “My favorite thing to pick is the onions.”
Madison takes pride in what she has learned over the summer.
According to her, marigolds are used as a natural pesticide.
“It’s called companion planting,” she said. “We plant marigolds by the zucchini. The marigolds keep the bugs off the vegetable plants.”
Both children agree that they like eating all the vegetables as well.
“Our dad makes beet chips,” said Lucas.
Before Lucas can even finish his thought, Madison chimes in.
“He slices the beets really thin, puts seasoning on them and bakes them,” she said. “They are so good.”
Brenda noted that when young people become involved it exposes them to all sorts of vegetables that they have never had before.
“When the kids see the end results of their hard work, hopefully it will encourage them to try some of the ones they have never had before,” she said.
She also offered 10 reasons to by local: Tastes better; more nutritious; preserves genetic diversity; energy conservation; supports local farmers; builds community by bringing people together around farm and food; preserves open space and increases value of the land to the farmer; local food keeps taxes in check; supports the environment; local food is about the future.
Triple B Produce has been in operation for eight years. The farm is located 3.5 miles south of Manawa at E6501 Mickel John Road, New London.
For more information, visit triplebproduce.yolasite.com, or call 920-427-9435.