SIGN UP TODAY FOR YOUR WEEKLY BASKET OF AFFORDABLE, ORGANICALLY-GROWN VEGETABLES AND BE PART OF A NEW, INNOVATIVE, LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT!
EAT THE RAINBOW!
KNOW YOUR FARM, KNOW YOUR FARMER, BUY LOCAL!
What is a CSA?
CSA means Community Supported + Shared Agriculture. It is an innovative food business model that brings together consumers and farmers in support of a strong and healthy local economy. Consumers have access to affordable, fresh, local, sustainably-grown food and farmers have access to secure and stable markets, along with access to resources when they need them the most. CSA’s are inherently cooperative. Your deposit enables us to properly plan for the upcoming season by providing us the necessary resources to purchase seeds, soil, greenhouse supplies, compost, tools, row cover, and more. Seeds are planted indoors as early as January and planted in the field as early as mid-April.
Sustainable farming is a method of food production that uses farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare. This form of agriculture enables us to produce healthy foods that safeguard the health and welfare of all farmed species.
Consumer-members buy a “share” in the CSA, paying a deposit of $200 before the season starts, and in return receive fresh, chemical-free, hand-tended, sustainably-grown vegetables and herbs over the 20 week growing season (mid-June to early November). Share sizes are flexible – ranging from $15/week to $25/week. We grow a large variety of well-known and lesser-known vegetables from all colours of the rainbow with a focus on hardy, tasty heirlooms. We adhere to strict organic growing methods with a focus on using sustainable Permaculture principles. You have the option to change your pickup location (if you let us know 3 days in advance) and to send someone else in your place if you cannot pickup your weekly basket yourself. Our blog is a fantastic resource for recipes and information on what produce we have offered in past years.
Benefits of joining a CSA:
* Save money on organic produce – 20% discount compared to farmers market prices.
* Garden to plate freshness! Our produce is delivered within 2 days of harvesting and can’t be beat compared to the produce found on grocery store shelves which as been picked up to two weeks before arriving at the store.
* Knowing you are feeding your family sustainably-grown and healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
* The opportunity to try new vegetables and be creative in the kitchen – who knows what new favourite dish or veggie you will discover!
* The chance to be more in tune with the local climate by learning to eat seasonally; reducing your food miles.
* Putting a face to your farmer and knowing your food dollars are staying in your community.
* Supporting local, ecological farmers encourages more farmers to go this route.
* Knowing that your food dollars are supporting ecologically-conscious farming and not contributing to environmental degradation; reduction of food waste.
(Parts of this article originally appeared in ShopEco’s weekly e-newsletter.)
There are also risks – In the past we have had late frost, early frost, drought, floods, hail – all in one season! – as well as insect and disease pressure caused by unpredictable and unusual weather. This might mean complete or partial failure of a crop. We mitigate these risks in a number of ways: in our off-season planning we always plan for growing an extra 20% of each crop than required; we have raised beds and covered hoops to protect plants from the weather and insects; polyculture creates a strong and bio-diverse system, because we grow a large variety of vegetables even if 1 or 2 are decimated there are another 50 crops to take their place; we work closely with other local farms to purchase produce if necessary. While members take on risks they also get to share in the bounty when we have bumper crops!
Details: We require your $200 deposit to get you registered. Deposits can be paid in cash, by cheque, or by email money transfter. Please contact us at – firstname.lastname@example.org – to sign up. Your second (and final) payment comes during the first week of veggie delivery in mid-June. You can choose to add another $100, $200, or $300 to your total for the season. Each amount comes with a bonus – $5, $10, $15 (corresponding with your share size) – that you can spend on our produce throughout the season. There are payment plans for those who require it or if you want a larger share size. These amounts translate into weekly produce baskets of $15, $20, or $25. To compare, our blog shows what produce was in the $500 ($25/wk) weekly basket in 2014.
Built-in flexibility: For those folks choosing to pickup at the farm near Tilbury, at the Belle River Farmers’ Market, or at ShopEco we will be using a credit system. When you come each week you can choose exactly which veggies you want from our table and we simply deduct them from your total credit. If you miss a week you won’t miss out on what you’ve paid for and you can also load up on veggies you really like on other weeks. You have control over which veggies you want (from our seasonal selection) and how much you want to spend each week. This is how we can balance the needs of various people – from those who want to see more Kale each week to those who never want to see it, for example, because there are veggies that folks seem to love or hate. We will use this system at our other 2 Windsor locations if there are enough people signed up. If your preferred location doesn’t use the credit system other methods will be in place to offer flexibility – open bins of vegetables from you to choose from, a “swap box” where you can grab something you’d like in exchange for something you don’t. Swap boxes are popular with many CSA’s around the country. This year we are asking members to bring their own bags or boxes to take their produce home in so that we can reduce our use of plastic bags.
Current location options:
- Walkerville – Shop Eco (378 Devonshire Rd, Windsor) on Tuesdays from 3pm-6:30pm
- South Windsor – Take Back The Farm (4929 Malden Rd, Windsor) on Thursdays from 4pm-7pm
- East Winsdor – The Urban Greenhouse (7635 Tecumseh Rd East [Pick Wick Plaza], Windsor) on Thursdays from 3pm-6pm
- Our main farm in Lakeshore near Tilbury (20600 Morris Rd, Tilbury) on Wednesdays from 4pm-7pm
- Belle River Farmers’ Market on Sundays from 10am-2pm
Some of the produce we grow: ‘Candy’ Tomatoes, a variety of Leafy Greens, Beets + Carrots, Peas + Beans, Garlic + Onions, Melons + Squash, Sweet Peppers + Cucumbers, Broccoli and more!
WORK-SHARE PROGRAM: Openings are limited; you must be able to commit to working a minimum of 4 hours a week, every week, during the season. In exchange you will receive a bag of veggies each week valued at $25! Preference will be given to those who have some vegetable growing experience and those who can volunteer their time during our harvest periods:
- Saturday mornings 8am-noon
- Tuesday mornings 8am-noon
- Wednesday mornings 8am-noon
- Thursday mornings 8am-noon
If you are interested in this please send us an email. If you don’t feel like you can commit or you are inexperienced send us a note anyway detailing what you’d like from the experience and we will determine if we can fit you onto our farm in some capacity.
Referral Program: When you refer someone to our CSA and they pay their deposit you will be put into a draw to win $100 worth of produce. The draw will take place before the first week of deliveries in mid-June so if you haven’t paid your full fee yet we will give you the $100 credit to use throughout the season.
Stay tuned for details on farm tours, foraging tours, work bees, and other exciting ventures such as canning parties and cooking workshops with local chefs!
From everyone on our farm – we are looking forward to a WONDERFUL GROWING SEASON!
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