Dana Miller’s kitchen pantry is awash in color. Red Front Range tomatoes, orange Western Slope peaches, yellow pears from Paonia, green dill pickles, and violet Old Orchard plums stock the shelves. The cornucopia looks like a late-summer harvest on steroids—all year long. How is that possible? Miller, a retired flight attendant, subscribes to a harvest share from MM Local, a local business that preserves Colorado produce at the height of the growing season.
The share program is similar to your typical Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm subscription—where you get an allotment of just-harvested, still-got-dirt-on-it produce from a nearby farm—but with MM Local, you don’t have to do any of the cooking. The company buys raw fruits and vegetables from local growers and cans them, giving members enough prepared tomatoes, peaches, beets, plums, apples, apricots, peppers, pears, pickles, cherries, and more to make gourmet dinners and desserts each night of the long Colorado winter.
High-end grocers and gourmet shops throughout the state stock MM Local’s goods, but most of the company’s wares go to subscribers. Harvest-share clients pay around $110 for 18 jars, $205 for 36 jars, $295 for 60 jars, or $525 for 120 jars. (And just like a CSA, you don’t get to choose the goods. Translation: If you dislike tomatoes, you might still receive them.) Every jar also includes a batch number and the name and location of its main ingredient’s farm—and farmer—of origin.
“We take pride in our farming partners and we want you to know exactly who grew your food,” explain MM Local co-founders Jim Mills and Ben Mustin. Their website includes further write-ups, photos, recipes, and a navigable Google satellite map for each farm.
Bonus: MM Local just moved into a new facility on Brighton Boulevard. Help them celebrate the new digs with a party tonight (October 25) from 5 to 9 p.m. In the meantime, a behind the scenes look at the cannery.
4120 Brighton Blvd., Unit B-15
—Photo by Rachel Nobrega