Written by: Shahira on March 3, 2011
We are constantly inundated with dooms day stories of the oil spill, climate change and just overall a rapidly declining environment. It is easy to become completely defeated in the face of global scale issues where the proposed responses, of stopping all industrial activity and for everyone to stop driving cars, just seem extreme and unattainable. But what if there were local and easy things you could do that would make you feel great and not take a chunk out of your wallet? We are fortunate in the Guelph area since there are a number of programs, initiatives and services available to us. For the next few weeks I am going to highlight some local opportunities and I hope they will make you want to get up, make some changes and make a difference!
Spring is in the air and with it comes more time outdoors and fresh local produce. Many people may go to the local farmers market on Saturday mornings, which is great but what if you could get access to a guaranteed basket of locally grown food every week with the possibility of it being delivered to your house? Community shared agriculture (CSA) is a great program found at many farms in the Guelph Region. Making the decision to support local farmers is not only good for the local economy but provides the means to know how your food is being grown (organic, grain fed animals etc.) and has shown to be beneficial for your health. As well, the deeper connection and understanding of where your food comes from can be a great experience for families and individuals alike.
The way CSA works is that you get to purchase a “share” of the harvest from a farm at the beginning of the season and in return you get a portion of the harvest throughout the season. In general, most local CSA’s allow members to come once a week to pick up their produce for the span of 20 weeks, mid June to October. Different farms offer different sizes but most have a size suitable for one or two individuals (~$400) or a family (~$600). That might seem a lot for food but on average that is less than $20 per person per week for organic local produce. Guelph is very fortunate to have 7 official CSAs listed on the Ontario CSA directory. So check out some local farms soon and start eating some healthy local delicious food!