Community Shared Agriculture
What is Community Shared Agriculture?
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution; a system that connects people craving farm fresh local produce directly to the farmers growing their food. A CSA consists of a community of folks who commit to supporting a farm before the growing season begins, in return for a regular dose of seasonal produce throughout. In this way, the farm becomes the community's farm and the consumers become co-producers of the food, with the growers and eaters supporting one another while sharing in all the risks and benefits of food production. It's the ultimate model in local eating!
What is the difference between a CSA and other Food Box programs?
Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) is sort of a contract between the grower and the consumer in which both are working cooperatively to support of local food and sustainable agriculture. In a CSA, the farmer grows food for a predetermined group of consumers and receives a guaranteed market for their produce, and the consumer commits for the season to receive high quality, fresh, local food, with full knowledge of the growing process. CSA farms usually offer weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables, flowers, fruits, herbs and meat products. The grower-eater relationship is strengthened through the open lines of communication and interaction between the members and the farmers.
Food Box programs are a variation of the CSA structure. Food box programs generally differ in that the consumer doesn't commit for an entire season, but on a week by week basis, which means the consumer often has less say as to what is grown and what goes into the box. In this model the distributor is not necessarily a farmer, and the food in the box is not necessarily produced locally.
What's so special about KEG's CSA?
Although not all of our farms are certified organic, we all grow high quality food using organic principles and ecologically responsible methods. Together we produce a wide variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, eggs and meats, maple syrup, honey, flour and preserves, many of which are heirloom varieties and all of which are available through our CSA program. Because KEG is a cooperative of over 20 small farms, we can offer you a much greater variety of products to choose from each week than each would have individually. Our multi-farm CSA model also reduces your risk as a shareholder - since we have numerous farms to draw from, it is unlikely that a wide scale crop failure would occur. Throughout the season, all of KEG's produce is picked and delivered as fresh as humanly possible - often you will receive items that have been harvested within 24 hours of delivery - and we only supply food grown in the Kawartha Lakes by our family of trusted growers.
How does it work?
Our CSA program has a 23 week season, starting mid-June running until late November – so for 23 weeks you'll receive a good dose of super-fantastic local food! To eliminate packaging, we'll bring the food in bulk to our arranged pickup locations (see below), and you'll fill up your bags with your weekly share. We're going to try something a little different this season, which will allow personalize what goes into your own weekly share – this way you can avoid taking home things you won't use, and will have the option to include 'extras' in your share – things like grass-fed beef, heritage pork, free range chicken and eggs, whole grain flour, maple syrup, honey, and preserves – all produced by KEG farmers! In addition, KEG is taking our relationship with local restaurants one step further this year and we'll be able to offer our members something they can't get anywhere else - specialty preserves made from KEG produce by local celebrity chefs!
What's in it for me?
In addition to your share of weekly, sustainable produce, we'll send you regular(ish!) e-newsletters with info, recipes, and updates. You'll also have access to our new online members' forum where you can interact with fellow members, growers, and nutritionists, and can ask questions, swap recipes, and organize group pickups. You'll have unlimited access to local food products and the ability to participate in special events put on by KEG. Most importantly, you'll become a member of an established sustainable food community, a proud supporter of small scale agriculture in Ontario, and you'll know exactly where your food is produced and how, all the while enjoying the delicious, local, sustainable food as it changes with the seasons.
Where do I get my food?
- AppleTree Market (Yonge & Eglinton) www.dailyapple.ca
- Linuxcaffe (Grace & Harbord) www.linuxcaffe.com
- St. Stephen's United Church
- Kawartha Lakes
- Joel's Restaurant (Cambridge St., Lindsay)
- Grassroot Organics (Farms Rd., Woodville)
How do I get a share?
We offer 2 share sizes:
- Large Share feeds 2-4 people (depending on their eating habits) and costs $805 (equals $35/week)
- Small Share feeds 1-2 people (depending on their eating habits) and costs $575 (equals $25/week).
This can be paid all at once, or in 3 separate instalments spaced throughout the season (due May 1st, June 1st, and July 1st). There is also a one time administration fee of $20 for new members, which you would never be charged again as a returning member.
If you would like to become a member of KEG's 2009 CSA program or would like any more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I get more involved?
KEG often has volunteer opportunities available and super fun special events that you can attend - click here to see what's going on right now!
A core committee is also in the works for 2009, made up of KEG members with an interest in helping us run our CSA program more smoothly. If you're interested in joining the core group or what just like to find out about what it all means, please email email@example.com.