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Field to Fork CSA provides produce for Mesa County

Brittany Markert
bmarkert@gjfreepress.com
Fresh farm eggs are available on a first come, first serve basis at Field to Fork in Palisade.
Fieldtoforkcsa.com |

WANT TO BE A MEMBER?

Visit Field to Fork’s website, http://www.fieldtoforkcsa.com — download the form or join online. There are three tiers of membership, depending on family size — small (feeds one to two people), medium (feeds three to four) and large (feeds up to six).

Prices range from $375 to $800 and it covers an 18-week summer share.

Once a crop is ready, it’s available at three locations for pick up in Mesa County — Field to Fork in Palisade, Lincoln Park in Grand Junction, and at Copper Club in Fruita for the first few weeks before they move to Fruita’s farmers’ market.

When you pick up a tomato at your local grocery store, have you ever considered where it came from? At times, the tomato has already gone through a lot of stress. It was picked from the vine, put on a truck, traveled hundreds of miles, put on the shelf, then into your home — the process could be up to two weeks.

Imagine eliminating three steps from the tomato’s journey and receiving fresh tomatoes straight from the vine to your dinner plate. That’s Field to Fork CSA’s philosophy and passion.

Jessica and Scott Washkowiak — owners of Field to Fork in Palisade — started growing their farm in 2012 and have already experienced great success.



“People feel different after eating fresher foods,” Jessica said. “It makes me feel really good that our food is helping people feel better.”

That passion is planted with their crops throughout the year. Jessica and Scott are proud of their farm and invite anyone to visit them to learn more about their business.



WHAT’S A CSA?

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It correlates to residents having a direct partnership with the farm by purchasing fresh food. Money stays local and helps those farms make a living.

Each week during the growing season, a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers are gathered and portioned for a share of the crops for CSA members.

Field to Fork offers its organic produce for a flat rate and consumers regularly pick up their share. The Palisade farm even offers free-range eggs by the dozen as available.

“It’s a positive thing when people come to the farm and kids pull radishes out of the ground and learn where their food comes from,” Jessica said. “They get more out of it than just eating it.”

There are a variety of community supported farms in the Grand Valley like Field to Fork. Fresh produce isn’t the only share farms provide; other CSAs provide fresh milk, bread and meats — like Roan Creek Ranch in Grand Junction.

If not sure which farm to choose, Jessica advises to quiz the farmers and understand their soil and farming practices.

“I encourage anyone out there to buy from local farms and agriculture,” Jessica said. “Everything we have would not be here if it wasn’t for the support of the community involvement.”

ABOUT THE FARMERS

Scott grew up in Illinois cropping soy beans. He found a passion in agriculture and attended Colorado State University to study horticulture and land design. After graduation, he moved to San Diego, Calif., with Jessica (a Grand Valley native) and they worked with CSA farms in the area.

The Washkowiaks then headed back to Mesa County in 2011. They worked on a farm with a CSA that eventually closed. That gave them the opportunity to open their own CSA — Field to Fork — and fulfill their dreams.

“We are really, really happy we got to go for it,” Jessica said.

The dedicated duo work on the farm daily, and they’re 100 percent organic in their growing methods. Jessica explains they rotate the crops to ensure top nutrients from the soil are absorbed by their produce each year.

Field to Fork grows more than 60 fruits and vegetables including kale, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, cherries, and pears.

COMMUNITY AFFAIR

Not only do the Washkowiaks supply 100 local families with produce, they also provide fresh food for restaurants like Bin707 Foodbar in Grand Junction.

That’s good for Bin707 chef/owner Josh Niernberg because his philosophy puts local produce at the top of his list.

“They (Field to Fork) understand the needs of the restaurant as I understand the ability to stay dynamic with their ever-changing crop supplies,” Niernberg said. “It’s a fantastic working relationship which then benefits the community, the county, and both of our missions. Last but certainly not least, it allows us to put the freshest, highest quality produce on our plates for the guests.”

Bin707 even designs special dishes around seasonal crops.

“If they harvest it, we will work with it,” Niernberg said.


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