Last summer I had the wonderful opportunity of organizing a CSA for a local farmer. This is Community Supported Agriculture - friends and family in my area that prepay for their produce so the farmer can use the investment to plant and support her business. Then each week we would get a basket overflowing with produce, usually at a fraction of the cost that we would spend at a farmer's market, and delicious varieties of fruits and vegetables that you won't find in stores. I learned that there were more varieties of tomatoes than I could imagine, like Zebra Tomatoes - YUM! I loved incorporating more and more organic foods into my diet and found that my health improved even more...which I didn't think was possible! :) Unfortunately the relationship between the farmer and I severed and I have been hoping to find another farmer that I could do business with. I had close to twelve others also committing to the CSA and they have been asking for a new opportunity as well.
At the Raw ALL AMERICAN Recipe Night last Saturday I had the privilege to meet Shyryn Joy, a local farmer. She has an active CSA in the Valley in which she harvests organic produce and distributes it to members who have prepaid for the season. I have been searching for a local, organic farmer that I could build a relationship with and trust. We are now working together. She will now be holding a new pickup location at my apartment complex and I will in turn find others that would be interested in more organic produce. I have a few people signed up and will continue to spread the wonderful news. And the best news of all...I don't have to handle any money! You work directly with the farmer...I simply refer you to her and help you get your produce.
I'm excited for this new opportunity as Shyryn (Sounds like sharon) plants heirloom varieties of vegetables - which means you get foods you'll never find in the stores. I also have met her in person, spoke in length as to the arrangement, and this is the second CSA I will be organizing so I am well prepared and have learned from my previous experiences. :) It is ALL organic (no use of pesticides WHATSOEVER), and is LOCAL...that is precisely what I have been looking for for six months.
We prepay for 10 weeks and commit to that season. She is very flexible, so you can pay in installments if necessary. It comes out to $25 a week or $250 for the entire 12 weeks. If you are interested, respond to this email and I will send you the membership application. We will receive 6-7 items in our weekly basket, in generous amounts (example: white swiss chard, Chinese watermelon radishes, Amarillo carrots, Bull's blood beets, Purple sprouting broccoli, valencia onions, snowball cauliflower, etc.) During the winter, you will get more vegetables, more greens (perfect for GREEN SMOOTHIES!) as well as some citrus...each season will bring a new variety of vegetables and fruits. :) (Now mind you, I will continue to buy bananas, apples, and other fruit at the store...but my vegetables will mostly be organic, thank God!)
Don't think you can do a whole basket, let me know and I'll find someone for you to split your share with. Then you pay for 5 weeks and only pay $125. But please let me know so I can find someone else who would like to do a split portion. You can either do every other week, or come every week and get a half share. Let me know your preference if this is what you are interested in.
Pickup at the 101 & Union Hills (my place) will begin on February 8th. Pickup will be between 5-7pm (but I will hold yours till the next day if need be), and bring a bag or basket for your ORGANIC produce. Please Email me if you would like a membership application!
Here is a note from Shyryn herself:
Greetings Haley & Friends!
Thank you very much for your interest in Whole Earth Community Supported Agriculture! I am happy to invite you to join the 10 week Winter Harvest Season to begin Tuesday, February 8th. I've attached the latest info packet Whole Earth CSA 2011 Winter Membership for you with all the details. The packet includes a sampling of the planting list, delivery locations and costs for this season.Through Whole Earth CSA, you have the opportunity to receive your share of the freshest harvest available in partnership with me, as your farmer, to sustainably & all naturally grow vegetables personally for you and your family. WE CSA members prepay for a season of vegetables and herbs delivered weekly to their chosen community location. Through your WE CSA membership, we will together create an alternative to the declining quality of our food supply, environment, farmlands, and health by supporting local agriculture!
Your vegetables are grown all naturally. I use no synthetic anything on plants or soil! I aim to create balance in the farm ecosystem as a whole by growing crops within their proper season, maintaining biodiversity through planting many types of crops, and strengthening plants through building healthy soil. I use only high quality organic fertilizers, soil amendments and pesticides (rarely necessary) and other all natural methods of fertilizing and building the soil such as cover crops, crop rotations, tons of well composted manures, and biodynamic preparations.
The planting list each season features many varieties, colors and flavors of most of the kinds of vegetables that grow during that time of year in the Phoenix area. I focus on heirloom, open pollinated varieties from many countries around the world to support the biodiversity of the farm and the planet, to save rare and endangered seeds, as well as delight members with vegetables, colors, nutritional value and tastes you won't conveniently find elsewhere.
Your share is hand harvested personally for you that very same day and delivered weekly in the season to your preferred pick up location. Shares include 6-7 types of vegetables and herbs that are most harvestable that day, in amounts generally much larger than those you'd find in retail grocers. The selection changes from week to week, with the most popular vegetables and staples harvested more frequently.
I invite you to click this link to the Harvests page on the WE CSA website (www.WholeEarthCSA.com) for a view of the vegetables member's received in their shares during previous harvest seasons. You may also visit our Recipes page to peruse the plenitude of recipes given each week with your share to help support you to prepare all those delicious veggies! As a member, you will receive notice of the vegetables planned for harvest that week for your share along with recipes. Check out our Slide Show page for some photos of us at the farm, or read Member's Voices for a sampling of comments from our members.
The number of people a share provides for is greatly subjective as this depends on how one has integrated vegetables in their diet. Members notice they are eating more vegetables than they did before and express that this is a very good thing! Some members opt to split a share with a friend or another family they know if the amounts of vegetables at first seem too much their needs. Many members comment that they truly enjoy eating vegetables they never would have known about without their CSA membership. It's exciting when a member receives a vegetable in their share they used to dislike and discovers how different and great tasting the freshly harvested, all natural & locally grown version is!
As you can imagine and may already know, the quality of vegetables grown all naturally, harvested so close to delivery, and produced by local farmers is beyond compare in terms of freshness, nutrition and vitality. This is only the beginning of the benefits of joining your CSA which extend beyond eating your veggies, toward evolving the social, environmental, financial, health and personal culture of food. You may chose from four community locations for weekly pick up, currently in Surprise, Goodyear, downtown Phoenix, and north Phoenix and now with Haley - near the Arrowhead Mall. I hope this info is helpful to you, and look forward to the possibility of growing and harvesting for you and your family. Thank you!
In Harmony & Abundance!
Your Farmer, Shyryn Joy
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About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.