YellowBird Offers Straight-from-the-Farm Products, Available at Community Markets

by Paula McKibben   YellowBird has come to Bluffton at Community Markets. According to the YellowBird website, “The YellowBird Foodshed partners with a network of small, sustainable farms in order to provide a direct connection from the farm to your table. Through the weekly food box program, we give the community a convenient way to access fresh, local food and have a true connection between farm to fork.” The term for this type of arrangement is community supported agriculture (CSA).
   YellowBird provides advantages to the farmer and to the consumer. One of the advantages of YellowBird is that local farmers benefit by selling their produce when it is ripe to local markets. In our immediate area, farmers who participate are Probst Family Farm and Luginbill Family Farm.
   The advantages to the consumer are that the produce and other products are freshly picked, all organic and traceable to the farm that they came from.
   Rue Hauenstein, Bluffton, participates in YellowBird at Community Markets. Rue says, “It’s like veggie Christmas every Friday. The quality – you can’t get it in the stores. It’s pristine.” She says that the quality of the produce beats all of the other local stores “hands-down.” Since the produce is fresh, it lasts much longer in the refrigerator. Additionally, YellowBird keeps track of what you get each week so that the box’s contents are not repeated the next week.
   To sign up for YellowBird, go to the website, yellowbird fs.com, and register. They are currently selling the summer boxes which will be delivered to Community Markets in Bluffton on Fridays between June 5 and Sept. 22. The boxes are $28 each for a base box and $40 for a full share. A base box contains eight to 10 different varieties and the full share, 12-14. Along with the produce, members receive a newsletter that provides storage and preparation tips and suggested recipes.
   It’s important to remember what a customer is getting for the price – products that are always fresh, keep in the refrigerator, and come in large quantities.
   So far, Hauenstein has received two boxes. There was enough spinach for salads for a whole week for her family. Other items have included carrots, yams, asparagus, raw honey, watercress, swiss chard, puffed corn, puffed spelt and spelt pancake mix.
   For an additional fee, pasture-raised chicken, pasture-raised pork, pasture-raised eggs and grass-fed cheeses are available.
   The headquarters for YellowBird is located in Mount Vernon, Ohio.