Interest in 'community supported agriculture' grows

August Creek Farm owner Andrea Corzine harvests snow peas in the one-acre vegetable plot on the farm on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

ASSUMPTION — A Christian County farm best known for corn and soybeans — including marketing ties to Brazil — has added a backyard garden.

August Creek Farm joins the growing list of "community supported agriculture" operations across Illinois targeted to consumer demand for locally grown produce. The concept — consumers buy memberships, and the CSAs plant, tend and harvest the crops — has been around for more than a quarter century.

The popularity of the local and organic food movement, according to CSA groups, has begun to attract larger, traditional farms to the niche market.

"I do all the work, and I bring the produce to them," said Andrea Corzine of August Creek Farm. "We try to pay them back dollar for dollar in vegetables.

"With the local food movement, they've become a lot more popular."

She said August Creek Farm, in many ways, grew out of the recession. After graduating from college in 2009 with a degree in natural resources and land management, Corzine bounced around in various part-time jobs in Florida before finding full-time work.

"It was an interesting period in my life," she said.

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