A CSA is a great way to ensure you’ll have access to healthy food during the upheaval of COVID-19 response. A CSA is the most reliable and safe way for people to access their vegetables during this time, and it is one of the ways Sweet Digz Farm can respond to the needs of our community, as people practice extreme social distancing and find ways to access food and other necessities.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a model of direct farm marketing that has its roots in Japan and has become popular worldwide. The CSA model was created as a way to support the local farmer and create connections between local farms and the people who buy their food.
CSA members “buy a share” in the farm, and pay a lump sum in the Spring when the farmer’s income is low. This money goes towards seeds, soil amendments, irrigation, and other expenses. The farmer spends less of their precious time on marketing, and more on growing amazing food! CSA members receive a weekly share of the farm’s harvest, enjoying the best and freshest veggies from the farm. And they know they’re supporting local organic agriculture.
We value the relationship this creates with our customers, and the joy of growing for you all season long!
Relationship. One of our primary goals it to create relationships between ourselves, our friends and customers, and the farmland that we work. We believe that the more we are connected to our farmland and to our farmers, the safer our farmland is in the wake of development and speculation. Farming is cultivating relationships at the core, in the fields and at the markets, relationship is our primary focus, our resilience and our livelihood.
Commitment. Your commitment to us is what holds our farm together. We truly believe it takes a community to raise a carrot. Your payment up front allows us to the space to focus on the farm and growing the food and the infrastructure to support us feeding you the most amazing food we can. You are a stable and reliable market for us and this is invaluable.
Joy of being able to grow for you! It is so fun growing when you know the folks who eat your food. We put all of our love into this farm and it is just so cool to know you all and keep you and your families well fed throughout the season. We take suggestions and special requests and like to experiment with vegetables that we have heard taste amazing, rather than just what travels well to market. The CSA model allows us to focus on the joy of our craft.
Diversity. We over-plan for the inevitable challenges of farming and work our butts off to be agile, flexible and observant so we can flow with the seasonal shifts and the challenges of climate change. Diversity of crops is our resilience, and our daily footsteps in the fields are our crop insurance. Diversity in our box reflects diversity in nature.
Why would you choose to join a CSA?
Healthy Fresh Food – food that is grown organically, in healthy soil, and has just been pulled out of the ground gives you more nutrition and flavour, and supports a healthy lifestyle based on diversity and enjoyment.
Direct relationship with local farmland and your farmer. Know the land and the hands that grow your food!
Support local farms and the culture of agriculture. Supporting local food production means protecting Richmond farmland and the network of growers, retailers, wholesalers, processors, restaurants, input suppliers, employment opportunities, learning opportunities, and ecosystems that underly and are essential for a complex (and sadly deteriorated) system.
Keeping your food dollars local – Committing to a season of eating local means keeping your food dollars in our community.
Ecologicial benefits – Buying local is one of the most significant ways to reduce the kilometers your food travels, and your carbon footprint. We farm in harmony with amazing wildlife, and provide habitat for beneficial insects, native bees, and other pollinators. Our farming practices help ensure clean air, water and soil in this very unique, diverse and threatened ecosystem we live in, here on the Fraser River.
Organic – No pesticides, No herbicides, No GMOs, and a commitment to diversity. Organic agriculture is one of the most important solutions to climate change – it supports biodiversity, builds topsoil, and requires less water than industrial agriculture.
Cos it makes you happy! 🙂
Is a CSA right for you?
A CSA is not right for everyone. Here are a few thoughts to evaluate whether it’s a fit for you:
Are you interested in supporting local farms?
Are you flexible? Farming is always a dynamic relationship with insects, weather, water, nutrients etc. Some years one veggie will thrive and another will not. As a CSA member who supports local farming, your box contents will reflect the abundance and losses. If it’s a great tomato year, you will see tomatoes in your box for many weeks; however, if it’s a really wet summer, tomatoes may only be in limited boxes. This flexibility and commitment to our farm is what makes you so valuable to us. The normal marketing world is less forgiving of these swings. Our hope every year is to have abundance and feed you amazingly with a diversity of the best nutritious and delicious veggies the earth can produce.
Are you curious about trying new vegetables?
Do you have time to freeze, bake or preserve what you don’t eat? We offer suggestions in our newsletter for storage and processing, so you can continue to enjoy the bounty in the off-season.
Are you home enough throughout the season to make a CSA box a viable investment?
Or can you share your box with friends/family who would love to share your box, or help eat your veggies when you’re away?
Do you love Kale? and if not, are you willing to find a reason to love kale, and other crops that are well-adapted to our region…and therefore often find their way into your box!
…we hope so! 🙂