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New co-op aims to offer farm-fresh food to members

A new chapter in Yavapai County agriculture has begun with the formation of YCGrown, the Yavapai County Farmers & Ranchers Cooperative. The Co-op also announces the launch of its new CSA share program for food lovers in the Quad Cities area.

Although there have been cooperatives before, this is the first that was formed to help small growers and ranchers market their products directly to the local community. Typically, their products have been sold at farmers markets, farm stands or on the ranch. These are important places to meet customers, and to share growing and cooking methods. But Co-op members also want to reach out to the broader community of those who support local ag and are concerned with where their food comes from and how it was grown or raised.

Each week from May 14 through Oct. 31, subscribers to the CSA will receive a farm box containing a variety of vegetables, mushrooms and fruit. What goes in the farm box depends on what is ripe and in season, making for exciting discoveries! Eggs, beef, chicken, tortillas and other products also may be added to the weekly delivery - all grown and produced here in the county by YCGrown members.

There are two sizes of shares available: a regular size that feeds 3-4 people, and a small share for 1-2 people. Payment plans are available, and the Co-op accepts credit cards, checks and EBT. The CSA share provides that farm- and ranch-to-table experience to consumers during the workweek. On the Co-op's web site, there is a "web store" where special products and quantities may be added to the share, or ordered by restaurant chefs, home canners and special event planners.

Get to know the farmers and ranchers of Yavapai County. For more information and to "get your share," go to http://ycgrown.com or call the Co-op at 476-1217.

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