In as much as the Minnesota growing climate allows, CKC Good Food sources lettuces, onions, broccoli, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, apples, carrots, zucchini, squash, potatoes, etc., from producers within 200 miles, including the Hmong American Farmer Association (HAFA). HAFA has provides weekly shipments of produce specifically for our farm-to-childcare program with the Ramsey and Washington County CAP Head Start centers.
For the past several years, HAFA has contacted us prior to spring vegetable planting to determine what produce we can use in our menus. This allows us to plan for the vegetables that will be available for our menus later in the year. We then create new recipes and meals to incorporate this produce in both raw and cooked form from September through mid-December.
HAFA was formed in 2011 by a group of Hmong American farming families to advance the prosperity of Hmong American farmers through cooperative endeavors, capacity building and advocacy. As part of an integrated approach to community wealth building, HAFA manages a 155-acre farm in Dakota County where member families can lease land, hone their business and agricultural practices, and sell produce to the HAFA Food Hub.
The HAFA Food Hub aggregates and sells members’ produce through community-supported agriculture (CSA) shares, schools, retailers and institutions.
Hmong American farmers are leading the Twin Cities local food economy, making up more than 50% of all the farmers in metropolitan farmers markets. Hmong farmers are at the center of a Minnesota-based local foods economy that according to AgStar Financial Services generates over $250 million in annual sales.