Yaaaaaa! It’s the beginning of summer and of Wicklow Way food boxes! This marks the swing into full production on the farm, with the responsibility to feed 70 CSA members and 4 farms markets during the week. Wicklow Way has been attending the Cobourg, Port Hope, and Wychwood Barns market in Toronto on Saturdays, and the Sick Kids hospital in Toronto on Tuesdays. Now, in addition we have 70 food boxes to prepare for delivery to people in those locations as well.
The people we provide food boxes to are CSA members. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It is an fantastic program in which the member pay a set fee at the beginning of the year, and receive 18 weeks of food boxes stuffed with great produce from Wicklow Way farms. The concept behind CSA’s is an alternative, locally based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. The members buy shares in the farm and help support the farmer with the risks and benefits of food production. This model creates a stronger consumer-producer relationship as the degree of involvement is higher because the consumer is willing to fund a whole seasons’ farm budget in order to receive high quality food from a producer they know and trust.
Wicklow Way has been providing CSA food boxes for a number of years and has built up a reputation of fresh organic food with large quantities and fantastic quality. Last week was our first box delivery and I had 12 members come visit me at the Cobourg market to pick up their food. The excitement and joy the people have to be getting food they look forward to since the beginning of the season is a pleasure of mine to be a part of. They members bring their reusable bags and one item by item I fill the bag and show them what they are receiving. Yesterday I travelled with Greg to Toronto to delivery 46 of our boxes to urbanites. We have 5 drop off sites around the city, which I had to drive the giant cube van to, and deliver the boxes to places that the members will come and pick up the food. It was such a pleasure meeting Greg and Elaina’s friends who are enthusiastic and great believers in supporting and being part of the great organic food movement. I am looking forward to being the delivery girl for the summer, plus it gives me one day off the farm and outta the dirt!
Last week was our first food box and it contained:
Green onions, eggs, red leaf lettuce, salad mix ,oregano and chive herbs, sprouts, a tomato plant and chicken poo pellets for fertilizer.
This week the box provided:
Napa cabbage, red leaf lettuce, escarole, eggs, green onions, garlic scapes, and winter savoury herbs.
Wicklow Way also provides a newsletter to inform the members about what‘s happening on the farm, and what is included in their box. The newsletter is helpful in members identifying vegetables they might not be familiar with and ideas or recipes on how to prepare it.
If you are interested in being part of the local economic, organic food movement contact Wicklow Way, or google CSA.ca to find farms near you, to receive the best quality food money can buy!
In addition to buying a share into the farm, some people like to come and volunteer their time to help eith the labour and get a better idea of what production goes into the food they are eating! We have been lucky enough to have Chantal, a CSA member come and work with us every other week for a month. She has been graciously added to our team and contributes beautifully.