Community Supported Agriculture

One of the books I’m currently reading is “Relax Honey”, a cookbook by Vancouver’s celebrity chef Vikram Vij and his wife and partner Meera Dhawala. In this book, Vij gives a recipe for using up the veggie that him and his family receive through their share in a CSA farm program. Hearing about this program was very exciting for me – it’s like getting a weekly surprise of farm goodness for approx 18 weeks!

Seeing that Father’s Day was around the corner and I’m at a loss for what to purchase for my dad, buying my parents a basket of farm fresh vegetables and fruit sounded like a good idea. I started to research CSA farms in Vancouver and quickly realized that they are very popular and memberships are pretty much sold out by May.

I told my boyfriend D about these programs and started to wonder if farms in Alberta offered shares. With a quick search in Google, I found a few CSA farm programs here. Not as many nor as long in length as BC, the ones here typically run on average about 13 weeks.

I found this website helpful in sourcing CSA farms. Most of the programs only offer full shares but a few farms offer a working share or a half-share. Several farms offered a half-share (about half the cost and half-size basket) which will probably be the best option for us being that we’re a two person household. Several of the farms are located outside of Edmonton proper and don’t offer drop off locations in the city.

Taking all these things into consideration – half-share, drop off in Edmonton, availability so late in the season… we ended up purchasing a half-share in the CSA program at Sunhill Gardens

We should be receiving our veggie surprise baskets starting mid-July! Sunhill has listed an example of produce that they grow. Can’t wait – zucchini and swiss chard are some of my favourites! As part of the program, we’re also invited to go to the farm to see the produce. You can bet I’ll be blogging about this experience and will be looking for recipes to help use up our veggies in yummy ways (especially kolhrabi, never cooked with it before).

Oh and after consulting with my Chinese and slightly irrational mother, who despite being retired with nothing to do, thought having to go pick up a vegetable box each week was a hassle and not being able to select your own produce a bad idea. We ended up selecting items and sending a grocery box to my parents for Father’s Day through Spud. Probably the best solution for everyone – even the family dog got some liver treats in that box.

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  1. CSA: A Growing Season in Review | foodkarma - March 20, 2012

    […] talked about supporting CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs on this blog (here and here), so some of you may already know that we purchased a half share  into Sunhill Gardens CSA […]

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