In my attempt to purchase organic produce whenever possible, I often come up against two things: produce flown in from Mexico (not exactly environmentally sensitive) or prices that necessitate re-mortgaging the condo to afford it (not tempting). Finding a good-quality, consistent source of organic produce can be a challenge.
I was very interested, therefore, to learn of a new-to-me concept in produce: Community Supported Agriculture. Instead of a small farm only selling their harvest through farmers markets or retail outlets, they divide the harvest into manageable parcels (for example, 60 shares) and pre-sell the parcels to the local community. Harvest shares are often delivered to a pick-up point each week.
Many of these farms are family-owned and several are certified organic. Harvests usually begin in May, run through October (18-20 weeks), and shares are approximately $500-600 for the entire season. Some farms even offer egg shares, as well, for an additional fee.
So, if this concept is as attractive to you as I found it, take a look at the following farms and see if CSA is for you:
Nathan Creek Organic Farm is in Langley and offers many drop off locations throughout Metro Vancouver. The farm expanded last year and now offers 100 shares.
Klippers Organics Farm is in the Okanagan but offers four pick up locations around Vancouver. This is the farm’s first year with a CSA program.
UBC Farm also offers organic produce and is entering its fifth season. Pick up is at the farm.