Blog   Tagged ‘farmer’s market’

Farm to office: Tips for starting a workplace CSA

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Spinach, strawberries and sprouts freshly picked from the field and dropped off at your desk—this isn’t just for Earth Day. That service is actually a reality at our headquarter UMB offices.

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. The CSA model connects local farmers directly to consumers.  Through a CSA, consumers can purchase a “share” of local, seasonal products directly from the farmer. Shares are generally delivered on a weekly basis and can vary in size and cost. A workplace CSA can be a great addition to your organization’s wellness or sustainability programs.
CSA summer share

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Benefits of a CSA and buying local

  • Natural: Most CSA farmers grow their crops without pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) so the food tastes like it came from your backyard garden. According to a PBS Independent Lens documentary‡, 95 percent of CSA farms use organic or biodynamic farming‡.
  • Fresh: In addition the food travels a shorter distance to get to you. Produce can be picked when it is ripe instead of being picked too soon which happens if it has to travel across the country. Some foods travel thousands of miles to get to our grocery stores. The shorter distance it travels means less fuel and emissions and time it takes — making it better for the environment.
  • Local support: Buying local supports our community, our friends and neighbors. Family farmers are people that work hard to bring us fresh and healthy food.

How to get started

Since 2010 UMB has offered its downtown Kansas City associates the option of having farm fresh products delivered to the office. Through the years we have used a few different CSA farmers, and here are the lessons we learned:

  • Determine interest: You can send out a short online survey (an online search will give you free options for simple survey tools) to test interest or you could even host a one day onsite farmers market to see how much interest it generates. UMB hosted a farmers’ market for Earth Day, and its popularity was a deciding factor for us to offer a CSA program.
  • Choose a dedicated CSA coordinator to work with the farmer and your employees. This could be someone in HR or a volunteer from your green team or wellness team. Make sure this is someone you can rely on and that they know they will have to dedicate some time and effort to supporting and promoting the program during the CSA season.

How to choose a CSA provider

  • Interview a few farmers to find the right fit. You can find a list of farmers who offer CSAs through one of these websites Kansas City Food Circle or Local Harvest. Many CSA farmers use organic farming methods but may not have the financial means for certifications. Each farm is different, so verify farming practices when interviewing a potential farmer. Other things to keep in mind when looking for a workplace CSA farmer:
    • Flexibility in share sizes, product offering – many CSAs offer meat, dairy, canned and baked goods in addition to produce, allergy sensitivities like gluten free and vegan options. Be aware that the more customized your CSA program the more complex it can get for you and the farm to coordinate.
    • The farmer’s experience in providing workplace CSAs– Ask for a reference from a current company they are servicing.
    • What the minimum/maximum number of shares the farmer can deliver to your workplace.
    • How they will handle issues that arrive such as forgotten shares or replacement of spoiled products.
    • Delivery logistics:
      • Day of the week, time and place of delivery
      • How will shares be distributed? — interoffice mail delivery, employee pick up at set time and location, etc.
      • How will the share be packaged?
    • Forms of payment – payroll deduction, online payment, etc.
    • Ask to see a real life sample of what is in a share.Providence Farms - CSA

At UMB we have partnered with Gerry and Lisa Newman of Providence Farms, a small family-owned and operated farm in Trenton, Mo.  The Newman’s use organic farming methods—never using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers or GMO seeds. We get to choose from two share sizes which include produce, meat from Barham Cattle Company and Family Farm, and a rotation of eggs, baked goods, butter and more.  The CSA season runs from June to October.

Lisa Newman of Providence Farm says,“We love fruits & veggies, and we love to share!  We are very passionate about growing our food without the use of harmful chemicals. When companies allow us to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis to employees, they are opening up the possibilities of people eating produce they might not have ever tried.

We live in a society where we want everything fast; fast food, boxed foods, frozen foods and microwaved food. We are providing a service where employees don’t have to take extra time to do shopping and can take their CSA home and prepare fresh food that is only hours old!”

The net result of a CSA is the food is healthier for us and better for the environment.

Have you participated in a CSA or plan to start one soon?

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing/Sustainability Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she leads the UMB Green Team and promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She is a volunteer for Bridging the Gap and serves on the board for Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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5 Ways to Make the Most of Summer’s End

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With autumn quickly approaching, here are 5 budget-friendly ideas for capitalizing on the remaining summer days (and nights). 08-05

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Alex is the senior consumer-banking leader for UMB Bank in Colorado. He leads the region's financial centers in the Denver and Colorado Springs market, small business banking and benefits solutions channel. Alex provides senior leadership and strategic planning/execution to UMB’s western territory. He also serves on UMB Financial Corporation's senior leadership team. Alex joined UMB in 2011 and has 14 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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UMB Big Bash® beneficiaries: Drumm Farm and Turner House are doing big things in Kansas City

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Have you heard of Drumm Farm Center for Childrenor Turner House Children’s Clinic? These two organizations are doing amazing work right here in Kansas City to support local children. And they just happen to have been chosen to be the two beneficiaries of the 2013 UMB Big Bash®.

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Drumm Farm Center for Children farmers market gardenDrumm Farm Center for Children (Drumm Farm) supports children in foster care and their foster families. Their mission is “to provide stable nurturing environments for children in foster care, keep siblings together, and inspire lifelong connections by being a resource for children and families.”

 

 

 

Drumm Farm provides support programs, counseling services and on-campus accommodations, and offer stability for children in foster care. The on-site housing combined with support from the professionals on staff creates a home environment where both the families and the children can work toward achieving permanency.

One of their more unique programs is the Drumm Farm Farmer’s Market. Open from May through September, this program includes a three-acre garden and small livestock. The children on campus help with farm operations, so they can learn valuable life skills and connect with nature. The Drumm Farm Farmer’s Market is open to the public from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday from May through September.

Drumm Farm also provides programs to transition young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. The staff provides instruction, life-skill development and supervision to prepare these children to be successful adults.

Turner House Children's Clinic flu shotTurner House Children’s Clinic (Turner House) serves low income, uninsured and underserved children in the Kansas City Metro. Their goal is “to ensure that underserved and uninsured children have a medical home in which they receive quality affordable healthcare to treat acute conditions, prevent disease through regular well-child exams and immunizations, and manage chronic conditions such as asthma and obesity.”

 

 

Turner House serves approximately 4,000 patients and completes more than 9,200 visits each year. They offer many services, including well-baby and well-child physicals; school and sports physicals; immunizations, same day sick child appointments, hearing and vision screenings, developmental screenings, referrals to specialists and Medicaid enrollment. They also provide patient and community education. Turner House is open each weekday plus two evenings a week and Saturday mornings. This expanded schedule helps keep children away from expensive, non-urgent emergency room visits.

Each year, Turner House offers Back to School Physicals. Between July 1st and Sept. 30th, they provide close to 1,000 children with physicals and immunizations before they go back to school. Without up-to-date shots, children are in danger of being exposed to childhood diseases, which can keep them from attending school and expose other children. When area school districts realized several years ago there were large numbers of children without current physicals and shots, they decided to strictly enforce state immunizations requirements. Turner House works to ensure these children are healthy and ready to go back to school in the fall.

You’re probably wondering, “What can I do to support these two fantastic organizations?” Of course I encourage you to volunteer or make a donation, but you can also have big fun supporting Drumm Farm and Turner House by attending UMB Big Bash on June 20. The annual fundraiser will include a concert by Huey Lewis and The News, as well as great food from local Kansas City restaurants and a silent auction.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.




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