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Good Gardening: CSAs

Farmer's Market
John Fischer

Hi All, Lane County Extension Master Gardener John Fischer here with KLCC's Good Gardening.

This will sound like a free ad, but it's not. My daughter and son in law have a small farm that sells vegetables at the farmer’s market, and provides 50 weekly produce boxes for their CSA customers - in LaGrande Oregon.

The CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, weekly box provides their small- and many large - local farms with a predictable income, and their customers with garden fresh vegetables. When my kids at Evergreen Family Farm pick produce - sometimes with my help - it lands on peoples’ tables that evening; backyard garden fresh food, for those who can't, or don't want to have a garden.

There are dozens of local CSA farms in our area. Find some links below. This is a good time of year to sign up for a CSA box so farmers know what, and how much to plant. They have to buy seeds and start plants long before the first vegetables go out.

But fresh produce, and local food production are only part of the benefit of signing up for a CSA box.

Farmer's Market Bounty
John Fischer

Getting a weekly produce box will also open your eyes - and mouth - to new culinary possibilities, and help you eat in season. When the Bok Choy is growing bonkers, you will get two, and learn the joys of bok choy soup. When carrots are going crazy, you will learn how to include them in more than just a dipping vegetable platter.

Most CSA farms have some greenhouse space - I've helped build several - so you will get tomatoes sooner- and lettuce later, and you will get things that you might not select at the farmer’s market, or the supermarket.

You'll get everything man, you'll get everything. You'll get arugula, bok choy, chickory, and dicon, eggplant, fava beans garbanzos and iceberg, habaneros, Jalapenos, kale, and melons. Napa Cabbage, okra, potatoes, rutabega. You'll eat everything man.

I'm John Fischer with KLCC's Good Gardening.




Copyright 2021, KLCC

John Fischer is a Master Gardener and Master Recycler and the host of KLCC's Good Gardening and Living Less Unsustainably.