Meet Emerald Acres!
Emerald Acres has been providing naturally grown vegetables, herbs and fruit to the Lincoln area through local Farmers’ Markets, their CSA program and local restaurant sales since 2011. They are located just 5 miles west of Lincoln in the small community of Emerald. Over 40 different kinds of produce, culinary & medicinal herbs and bedding plants are grown on 5 acres. In addition to outdoor growing, Emerald Acres also produces lettuce hydroponically in an onsite greenhouse. They keep a flock of laying hens, and farm fresh eggs can be found at their farmers market stall and in CSA shares.
Helping people thrive!
Emerald Acres has a unique mission – through the hard work of Direct Support Professionals, they teach individuals with developmental disabilities valuable skills that allows them employment opportunities through the farm and greenhouse.
Emerald Acres is an entity of Integrated Life Choices, which works with the Department of Health and Human Services to meet the needs of people in the community who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Integrated Life Choices is dedicated to providing all people living with disabilities the opportunity to live a fulfilling life. Founded in 2006, Integrated Life Choices has more than a decade of experience in the industry as well a respected reputation for providing a positive and friendly work environment. ILC (Integrated Life Choices) extends support to people of all needs and abilities in the workforce through various opportunities in everything from agriculture to retail.
Emerald Acres is one of over 10,000 farms in the United States that distrubute their bounty through a program called Community Supported Agriculture. The basic concept of a CSA is that an eater/consumer pays money to a farm before the season begins to buy a share in the farm. In exchange for the upfront money, the farm delivers a weekly or biweekly 'share' of the farm's bounty to the eater/consumer throughout the season. Emerald Acres CSA program usually runs about 4 months (June to October). For 18 weeks of vegetables CSA members pay $450 dollars, which is $25per week. Members support the farm and receive a share of the season’s harvest – a weekly or biweekly box of fresh picked produce, delivered to a pickup site in Lincoln. To sign up head to: http://www.emeraldacresne.com/members/types .
CSAs are a great way to get local food! Here are just a few reasons why:
– You are DIRECTLY supporting a local farm. There are usually no middlemen in CSAs. You buy directly from the farm that produces your food.CSA members help to finance the food they eat by creating a stable source of farmer income early in the season. Most farmers budgets are stretched thin in the winter, and money from CSA purchases help to finance seed and equipment purchases for the upcoming year.
– You get to eat what is FRESH & IN SEASON! Most CSA programs last several seasons, so you have the opportunity to get a feeling for what is good & growing in a certain week or month. You will be receiving SUPER FRESH produce – straight from the farm.
– You are a part of a COMMUNITY! CSA members are FARM & FOOD fans. Commraderie develops between CSA members, and between members and farmers. You get plugged into a group of people who value food, cooking, preserving and growing.
– You'll learn new SKILLS! Most CSAs will include recipes and tips for utilizing the items in a share. And honestly, food farmers are great people to ask about food preperation, cooking, storage and ideas for how to use xyz vegetables
Check out Emerald Acres facebook page for updates, market schedule and awesome pics of veg and veg growers having fun!