Originally published in The Journal on January 25, 2018.
Community-supported agriculture, or CSA, is a term now ubiquitous with foodies and local food enthusiasts, but many may be unaware of its cousin — the CSF.
Community-supported fisheries take the guesswork and uncertainty out of buying sustainable fish, arguably one of the most confusing food markets, because the fish comes directly from the angler. If you’re looking for high-quality, direct-to-consumer fish in Minnesota (and you don’t have a friend with an ice house), you can’t get much fresher than a CSF like Wild Run Salmon.
After retiring from his corporate job in 2004, Matt Oxford set out to start Wild Run Salmon, fishing out of Homer, Alaska for wild salmon and cod. Unlike many with boats of his size, Matt and his three sons not only fish on their boat, the Blue Ox, but they also process and freeze fish on board (rather than sending their catch to a processor). His customers can always trust they are getting his sushi-grade, sustainably caught fish.
Matt travels back to Minnesota during the off-season and sells frozen salmon and cod fillets at the Mill City Farmers Market. You can sign up for one of Wild Run Salmon’s CSF shares at the market to get a discount on 10 or 20 pounds of Sockeye, Coho and Chinook salmon.
Paying in advance like this gives the fisher money at the beginning of the season when expenses (licenses, permits, equipment, etc.) are significantly higher. And don’t worry about freezer space — Matt will store your fillets in his freezer and you can pick them up as often as you like.
Visit the winter market inside the Mill City Museum on January 27, February 10, March 10 or March 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to chat with Matt about the upcoming fishing season and grab some salmon to take home!