Pulling up to Pregitzer Farm out in Munith, MI, the first thing that struck me was the pure sound of silence pervading the landscape. Finally, I could hear myself think for a second without being interrupted by honking cars, the bustle of pedestrians, and the daily grind of city life. While only a mere 40 minutes from Ann Arbor, I felt like I had been transported a thousand miles away.
Surrounding the main farm stand and long line of greenhouses are vast acres of pumpkin seedlings that sprout into a monstrous patch in the fall, rows of sweet corn—the prized crop of the farm—and so many other veggies it will make your head spin trying to count them all.
Wade, the proprietor of Pregitzer Farm, has been at his current location in Munith for about ten years now and runs his entire farm with a very small staff of only two people plus his family of five. Farming is his family’s way of life, stretching back to his parent’s generation, whose farm is located directly across the street from his own. While farmer’s markets and his personal farm stand provide a good amount of sales, the CSA Wade started five years ago has really turned the farm around. The profit Wade brings in from his CSA comprises roughly 1/3 of his family’s total business for the year. This money not only helps him provide for his family but also allows him to properly upkeep the farm throughout the cold winter months, a job more laborious than most of us can imagine.
Relative to other CSA’s offered in Michigan, Wade aims to include unique items outside of the typical kale and onion trajectory. Produce like melons, eggplants, different varieties of zucchini and summer squash, green beans, peppers, and, of course, his beloved sweet corn are commonplace in his CSA pickups. Another fun offering typically not found in your average CSA collection are potted herbs that you can take home and plant directly in your own gardens.
Besides the obvious taste benefits of all of Pregitzer’s veggies, their CSA is also a highly cost effective program for consumers. Buying into a CSA ensures that you are getting the freshest produce at its peak of excellence; it takes away the worry and stress so commonly associated with grocery shopping, providing an eclectic mix of ingredients to experiment with each week; it builds a sense of trust between you, the consumer, and the farmer, creating a greater sense of transparency within our food system; and, perhaps most essential, you are helping a farmer support their livelihood, which, in this era of superstore discount food and cash crops, is essential for maintaining a healthy and sustainable food system.
Pregitzer farms offers CSA pickups as well as a la carte vegetables at the West Side Farmer’s Market every week and will be opening the doors to their personal farm stand in the coming months.
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