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Fresh Produce Straight from Your Local Farm

Grocery prices and tighter budgets lead many to community shared agriculture programs. Here’s why it’s worth the investment.

Glen Valley Organic Farm 20 Feb

Going to the grocery store these days can be disheartening. With record-high prices, making healthy choices takes more planning and creative thinking. Increasingly, many consumers see an advantage to having a connection with a local farm.

“Many of the prices we see are signs of the risk in relying on southern California for so much of our vegetable production,” explains farmer Shirlene Cote.

“I like being able to tell our customers what is happening in the fields and around us, and how this impacts the food we grow. It’s about being transparent in our work, while delivering the freshest produce possible.”

Cote’s farm business, Earth Apple Organic Farm, is part of a collective of farms operating a community shared agriculture program based on Glen Valley Organic Farm in Abbotsford. They’re also Salmon-Safe certified and an official Living Wage Employer.

The farm collaborates with other B.C. organic growers to produce a CSA program annually for 24 weeks, from late June through to the end of November.

By joining a CSA program, customers lock in their vegetable purchases for the season. They provide financial support to farms early by paying for their subscriptions when the growing season starts.

In return, the farm provides a weekly share of the crop to subscribers over the course of the program. The farm delivers boxes of produce to neighbourhood locations where subscribers pick up weekly.

At a time of inflation, climate breakdown and soaring grocery prices, this is a system that helps farms plan a quality box of weekly produce for customers at a guaranteed price.

“Many of our subscribers have purchased from us for more than a decade. They see the resilience in a model that’s not based on corporate supply chains,” explains farmer Chris Bodnar.

“Many people want to have a connection with the farmers who grow their food. There’s a relationship of trust — people are getting the highest quality produce and can connect with their farmers directly.”

For more information about community shared agriculture and Glen Valley Organic Farm, visit their website.  [Tyee]

Read more: Food, Environment

This article is part of a Tyee Presents initiative. Tyee Presents is the special sponsored content section within The Tyee where we highlight contests, events and other initiatives that are either put on by us or by our select partners. The Tyee does not and cannot vouch for or endorse products advertised on The Tyee. We choose our partners carefully and consciously, to fit with The Tyee’s reputation as B.C.’s Home for News, Culture and Solutions. Learn more about Tyee Presents here.

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