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Teamwork CSA

Thu Mar 22, 2007 Miss Vicky 

So, a few of us met Hilary Chop of Teamwork CSA at The Table yesterday. It was a good meeting and I liked Hilary a lot - she is clearly an energetic farmer, dedicated to community and to sustainable food and agricultural practices. She's been farming for 9 years - for a while as an apprentice, and then 5 years building Teamwork CSA.

The CSA grows over 30 different organic vegetables, and delivers weekly boxes through the growing season to central collection points in the city. Our closest pick-up location is in West Wellington. You buy a share for $600, plus $100 fee for delivery into Ottawa. So, about $35 a week for enough fresh veggies to feed a family of four or 2 hungry vegetarians. You can also split a share with someone, if you don't think you're going to eat that much. One of you picks up the full share each week, then you split it yourselves.

There is a regular newsletter for CSA members, an annual potluck and possibly other events. You can also visit the farm and get dirty by helping out.

The brochure lists a sample of what might go into the box during different seasons. In June, you might get 2 heads lettuce, 2 bunches leafy greens, 1 bunch radishes, 1/2 lb fava beans and appearances of peas, turnips, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, cilantro and green onion as they are ready. In July, add to the list bunches of carrots and beats, 2 lbs each cucumber and summer squash, 2 lbs beans and 2 bunches herbs. August/September you see tomatoes, peppers, melon, leeks, onions, potatoes... and so on. In October you'll get crops that you can store for the winter (plus other stuff, of course). I'm kind of excited at the prospect of learning to eat more seasonally. I've kind of been in a veggie rut for a long time. Sometimes it seems like everything I eat is a variation of peppers, zucchini, onions.... or salad. Getting a weekly store of fresh, organic veggies, including some I might not buy regularly, will help shake up our culinary habits a bit - force us to experiment, learn new recipes, and generally think more about what we're eating.

One of the things that held me back from food box programs was my tendency to take longer summer vacations. But you can have someone else pick up your share, or let Hilary know in advance and she will donate it to the food bank. There is also an exchange bin if there is something in your bin that you are really not interested in eating. We like most stuff so I'm not sure we will use this much, but you never know.

So I think we'll take the plunge. Still have to decide re splitting. But I'm looking forward to it!

Some people were moved to reply

andrea Mar 22, 2007 04:28 PM said:

Hmmm. Sounds interesting... ! If our family had a broader palette for veggies (that's a polite way of saying I have picky eaters in my family) I would go for it.

Miss Vicky Mar 22, 2007 09:03 PM said:

too bad. I bet your girls would enjoy the weekly surprise of discovering what is in the box!

Kathleen Mar 30, 2007 07:10 PM said:

This sounds fabulous. $35 a week is a really good deal for all that veg. And what a great idea to donate the food to the foodbank if we're on vacation -- that has held me back from such a venture in the past. Do you know how I can get in touch with Hilary to sign up?

Miss Vicky Mar 30, 2007 07:36 PM said:

Here is her contact info:
Teamwork CSA
PO Box 838
Almonte, ON
K0A 1A0
(613) 296-0599
teamworkcsa@hotmail.com

I have registration forms at my place as well

amckay Apr 5, 2007 05:02 PM said:

A buddy of mine is starting a CSA and he told me "Community Shared Agriculture" is Canadian and "Community Supported Agriculture" is American. I've never hear the so-called "Canadian" version. But then, he's the farmer.

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