Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What is a CSA??

"Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain."-Author Unknown

This has never been more true than now! While we love the sunny days we need rain! We have been laying irrigation tape daily, and watering constantly, but we can't duplicate nature.  We have been able to keep things growing but not at the same pace as if we were receiving rain as well. Because we had to cancel share pick-up this week, we thought it might be a good time to look at the nature of CSA programs.    

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA programs offer the farmer and the share holder many benefits and some risks. As a share holder you get to know who grows your produce and how it is grown. You also get to know that the produce you receive is picked the day of delivery. That means it is allowed to fully ripen on the plant. That way it tastes better, has a higher nutrient content, and will last longer than produce picked early in order to allow for cross-country shipping. As the share holder you also get to try heirloom and unique varieties of produce. At Goldwood Gardens that includes micro greens, a large variety of tomatoes, and dragon's tongue beans just to name a few. Generally speaking you also get a savings when you compare the cost of buying produce at  the Farmers Market or at the store. Did you know that the micro greens we regularly include in our shares can cost up to 100.00 a pound for restaurant buyers? You also get the satisfaction of knowing that your money is helping the local economy.

The farmer receives financial support, and access to helpers who want to work in exchange for their share of produce. This is the 'work share' part of CSA. Aside from the exchange of services work share participants also get to see first hand how much effort goes into planting, growing, harvesting, and distributing each seasons shares.

Both parties involved  share the risk of the weather! Just like right now, some seasons bring not enough rain, some bring too much. Some years temperatures are cool, some years they are scorching! No matter what may come produce is grown, however the variety and quantity can be affected. Right now the mid-summer plants are looking great. Tomatoes, peppers, etc, are growing and getting ready to ripen. The greens and early summer produce that we rely on for this share season is the most affected by the drought. That is why we made the decision to cancel pick up for this week. In keeping with the philosophy of responsible growing and providing the best produce to our members, we would rather give our plants another week to grow than to give you items picked too early.

There are some other CSA details that we would like to remind you of  regarding pick up. Because of the volume of shares that we pick, and the very perishable nature of the produce, we cannot guarantee that your share will be available if you forget your pick-up. We simply don't have the cold storage space for multiple shares. If you are going to be out of town, or realize that you won't be able to make your pick-up, let us know! We can try to make arrangements ahead of time. You can send us a message on facebook,  text, or call us. Pick-up at both locations is from 5-6;30 p.m.

One of the women who is credited with bringing the philosophy of CSA to the United States says it like this, "Food producers + food consumers + annual commitment to one another=CSA and untold possibilities." Robyn Van En

We are so grateful and humbled that you take this risk with us. You can be assured that we are trying our best to produce and provide you with the highest quality, most responsibly grown items available! Thanks for your ongoing support and your understanding. We can't wait to dance in the rain!

Contact info: Columbia City pick-up-(260)229-4436 Joy or (260)229-1421 Canda
                      Warsaw pick up-(260) 229-1421 Canda
                       Farm pick-up-(260)229-1421 Canda

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