By now, you've probably heard the story of the $8 cauliflower. Imported food prices are, for the most part, increasing dramatically in Canada, making some items of fresh produce seem like small luxuries.
It's deeply concerning, especially when so many Canadians already struggle with paying their grocery bills. With the number of fruit and vegetable farms in Canada continuing to disappear, it's not easy to find locally grown produce. Our food system continues to rely on cheap imports, but when those imports are no longer cheap and plentiful, it challenges us to rethink our reliance on imported food.
It also opens opportunities for us to think differently about where and how we buy our food.
Community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) help consumers connect directly with farmers in their local area. CSA members pay up front by purchasing a "share" of the farmer's harvest before the season begins and farmers, in turn, provide them with a weekly food box throughout the season.
When we started our CSA program in 2015, we wanted to provide members of our community with a diversity of fresh, organic vegetables at a good price. As a CSA member, by paying up front for your share in the beginning of the season, you invest in our harvest. We believe in honouring that investment. In a good year, with a strong season, we believe that you should see a good return.
Last year, members saved an average of $78/share by joining our CSA before the season began. For example, a Regular CSA Share cost$25/week for 18 weeks and members, by paying up front, ended up saving an average of $4.35 each week. Members saved because of the smart investment they made.
If you are concerned about continuing to feed your family healthy, fresh, high-quality produce in the next few months, we would highly recommend purchasing a CSA share. We believe it is a smart investment in economically unsound times. Afterall, an investment in your health and well-being can really never be a bad investment, can it?
Our 2016 CSA membership sign-up will begin next week. Members can sign-up either online or by mail. We will send an e-newsletter announcing the opening of the sign-up the moment it begins.
If you ever have any questions about joining, please feel free to email us. We're always happy to hear from our customers - new and returning.
Also, if you or someone you know is struggling with the recent rise in food costs, we welcome you to get in touch. While we only have so many CSA memberships available, our mission is to make healthy, organic, sustainably-grown food accessible for our community. We can work out a discounted membership or provide opportunities to donate food when possible.