Forget Hello Fresh and Fresh Prep! Did you know Delta has its own collection of farm-to-table boxes that will help you create locally curated meals while supporting local farmers and Delta's agriculture scene?
Spots in Delta CSA Programs are now available for purchase and are selling out fast. If you're not familiar with CSAs - let us fill you in. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Think of it as a subscription box to a local farm, only you head directly to the farm to retrieve it. You'll be hard-pressed to find anything fresher!
How CSA Programs Work
For the most part, although specifics vary farm to farm, CSA Programs are in essence, the act of buying a piece of the upcoming harvest in advance. While every farm has different options within their CSA Program, from weekly to bi-weekly, from produce & eggs to freshly cut flowers and meat, the concept is the same. Buyers are pre-purchasing 'shares' in the seasonal yield to come. Delta is home to both summer and fall harvest boxes and CSA Program opportunities.
The first step is choosing a farm to commit to. Many factors may come into play here; proximity to your home, their produce range, or alignment with your personal values. This may include taking into account climate change initiatives in their farming practices, their commitment to organic production, or simply how close they are since you'll be driving to the farm to retrieve your box.
Most farms accept payment straight up for the entire season of boxes (this can range from 8 weeks to 20), and it can be done all online via a simple and secure form and payment process.
The benefits are two-fold. Farmers benefit from the assurance of a portion of their crops being pre-sold. You get the benefit of enjoying farm-to-table fresh goods at a discount while becoming more involved in local farming culture. For those of us in a cooking rut, your box may surprise you with something new to try and expand your culinary horizons. And if you have children in your home, they'll enjoy the opportunity to learn how and where their food is produced, which is the basis for healthy dietary choices.
Delta Farm Fresh Options
Convinced? Lucky for us, we live in a farming community and choices are abundant. Delta offers a myriad of locally owned and family-operated farms to choose from. As we mentioned before, shop around for the CSA Program that suits your family best!
Some local programs, like School House Farms CSA include weekly recipes to coincide with that particular week's haul. This creates a lovely community and test kitchen, to hopefully make the most of your box and minimize waste. More importantly, this perk really gives Fresh Prep a run for its money! Beyond vegetables, they also offer an egg share program, herbs, and flowers.
Westham Island's Salt & Harrow CSA is set up as a Farm Share program. For a discounted price, it gives buyers free range of all their certified organic produce each week. Yes - free range! As in, you hit that farm stand and load'er up! For smaller families or empty nesters, they also offer smaller share programs for a lesser buy-in.
Earthwise Farm Harvest Boxes are certified organic, pre-washed, and packed boxes of vegetable goodness straight from their Tsawwassen fields. A subscription with them takes you from June to October, for as little as $25/week. Previews of crops to expect can also be found here. For a $25 donation, you can feel good about gifting a Harvest Box to a local family in need through their Family Harvest Box Program.
Cropthorne Farm creates a community within this CSA Program through weekly newsletters, highlighting farm stories, photos and recipes. You can get even more connected by joining their CSA Facebook Group, and get to know your fellow farm supporters, and see what they're cooking up. Another perk - they offer a vacation hold option if you need to take a vegetable break for a week or two.
We've merely skimmed the selection of CSA opportunities right here in Delta. If you're interested, do your research and commit! These programs are limited and spots sell out fast. If you missed summer, there's always FALL!
Photo Cred: School House Farms // Cropthorne Farms