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Happy CSA Day!

23736015_10155668389350985_3756495121059122031_oWe small farmers love to celebrate CSA day but perhaps you are wondering what CSA is and why we care so much about it.  Here is your primer to Community Supported Agriculture.

CSA’s or Community Supported Agriculture are a box program of the best produce that a farm, or in our case farms, have to offer you. You pay in advance for the box and it is delivered regularly to a location near you or even better, picked up on farm. The deal is that community members who value access to local fresh food and support their local farmers commit to buying a weekly box in the spring.  That  purchase is an investment in their farm and in a good year you share the abundance and bounty, sometimes getting more than your investment. The risk is if it is a bad year, they don’t receive their value but the reality is most times, at least in our case, our boxes are overflowing with extras.  So you generally get more than you paid for.

We choose the best from our fields for our committed members because we value your belief in us.

Why do CSA’s matter?

The committed sales that CSA’s provide are very valuable for small farms. That means money is coming in when there is not a lot to sell at market.  That cash flow affords our seasonal business the opportunity to pay for seeds, amendments, infrastructure when we need it, and not put it on credit.

The other important piece of this model is that it allows small farms to grow.  As each farm explores our limits, we discover how much more we can push ourselves as farmers.  If last year we committed to 100 shares and find we can do it, we can explore how we can add another 25 shares the next year.   This incremental growth is good for the farmer, but also very important when we think of local food sustainability.

If a community wants access to local food, it needs to be growing its farmers.   Farmers, as we all know are working with small financial margins and most are only successful due to one person having an off farm job.  By committing to your local farmer, with secured funds in advance, they have the ability to grow their farm and market in predictable ways.

So, today on CSA Day, we thank all of you who have supported us in the past and present. You make a great difference to small farms like ours.

To those who haven’t yet, consider joining a CSA or if you already have repost this and urge your friends to do so.  It affects everyone’s future.

Follow this link to find out more:  https://mervilleorganics.ca/csa-general/

ps Thanks to CSA Member Michelle Rankin for the amazing quilt of veggies, this was her 2017 CSA share last summer

 

January: New Beginnings

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New Year, new thinking

By Farmer Arzeena

Ah January, the month of new beginnings and new resolutions. If a cleaner diet is high up on your list of to-dos, here’s a quick tip to help cut through the plethora of diet advice. Cook from scratch for yourself and your family. The more your take back control of what goes into your body, the fewer “nasties” that will enter it.

 

But doesn’t our government protect our food system? In a short, no they do not. Basically, Health Canada approves whatever the USDA does and the USDA has a revolving door between itself and companies like Monsanto and Bayer. So, it’s really up to you to make informed choices.

 

And it certainly is possible. Eliminating herbicides, insecticides, genetically engineered (GE) organisms and antibiotics from your food supply can make a huge difference in how you and your family feel after a meal. More and more, we are finding that the gut microbiome, is critical for helping to not only your digest food, but also produce important brain hormones like serotonin.

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When this internal ecosystem is out of balance because of poor diet or eating foods laced with antibiotics, all kinds of reactions can happen from irritable bowel syndrome to eczema to even depression. Probably the biggest culprit for is the prevalence of glyphosate, also known as Roundup. This herbicide is in large-scale wheat, barley & oat farms as well as in GMO crops like canola, feed corn, and soybeans.

 

So how do you eat cleaner? Choose whole fruits and vegetables and wherever possible, purchase organic. In Canada, there is no other labeling system other than certified organic that can ensure food isn’t grown without pesticides or antibiotics. Luckily, in the Comox Valley, there a number of certified organic vegetable, chicken and beef farmers. Check them out at the Farmer’s Market. Get to know your grower. They’re your first line of defense for a healthier you.

 

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If you want to make a commitment to local organic food all summer, consider joining our weekly veggie box program through our CSA . For more info click here!