Prairie Garden's Winter CSA - Continue to Eat Local
Even if you live further North, in the Edmonton, Alberta region – a CSA is not just a peak season (summer/fall) opportunity. A membership in our farm’s winter CSA (community supported agriculture) model can be the perfect way to continue to eat seasonally and support your local food system. Our winter CSA offers a bounty of fresh leafy greenhouse grown greens, like Swiss chard, kale or micro mustard salad greens, fresh herbs, winter seasonal items like winter squash, culinary Japanese kabocha blue pumpkin, vegetable spaghetti squash, a variety of potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, carrots, beets, rutabaga, winter radish, and pulses like peas, faba bean, plus wheat and rye berries in their monthly winter CSA. Occasionally, you’ll enjoy getting a jar of kimchi, sauerkraut, heirloom tomato pizza sauce or haskap berry ketchup to add new flavours and character!
And while it’s true that winter produce boxes can be less varied than their summer and fall siblings, they still present a lot of opportunity for eating seasonally and for you provide support to your local food system. For those unfamiliar, community supported agriculture (CSA) is a model in which customers pre-purchase a seasonal share from a farm, pre-growing season. In return, they receive food from the farm — usually a weekly produce box — once the farm starts harvesting. The model gives farmers a guaranteed income, and provides the community with locally produced, fresh foods. “You aren’t just buying a product from a farm but instead are buying into the farm itself,” says Dr. Julia Skinner, a food historian. “What you get depends on what’s produced, and it’s much more about reciprocity and mutual support than a purely capitalist transaction.” It's a way for you to help kick the carbon from your food chain and do something on a local level to help reverse climate change!
2022 Summer CSA Harvest Share
Each week, for 15 weeks, (17 baskets) you'll get your selection of your Share Size (S, M, L) of our own farm grown super fresh and healthy produce: greens, root vegetables, fruits (like strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and apples) and herbs. You'll get 2 bonus baskets through the season!
Choose your Vegetable Adventure (Summer CSA Farm PU): we want to give you the power of choice when you pick-up at the farm market through the summer!
When the farm market opens in mid July, you'll receive the farm's choice of peak in-season vegetables, plus you'll be able to choose the produce, bedding plants, or pickles you would like from our farm market.
Small Share - (Ideal for an individual or couple) $510 for the season (a weekly value of $30 worth of produce). It looks like this: Farm selection of between 3-4 different veggies ($15) - and then you'll get to choose your own selection of produce directly from our Farm Market or Country Store - $15 value.
Medium Share (ideal for a family of 3 or family of 4 with small children) $765 for the season (a weekly value of $45 worth of produce). Looks like this: Farm selection of $15 of produce plus your choice of $30 from the Farm Market or Country Store.
Large Share (ideal for a family of 4-6) $1020 for the season (a weekly value of $60 worth of produce). Looks like this: Farm selection of $15 of produce, plus your choice of $45 of produce from the Farm Market or Country Store.
This way, if you're crazy about carrots, or want to try pickling baby beets, you can choose multiple portions of the same vegetable! Or if you want to try a little of everything, you can do that too!
Farm produce available will change with the seasons, providing you with an amazing range of vegetables grown with care using natural growing and regenerative agriculture practices. In early spring- it's greenhouse grown greens, herbs and heirloom tomatoes, and foraged greens. By July - the summer berries, peas, baby potatoes and zucchini are ready. August and September are months of abundance - you'll enjoy all sorts of veggies - from beets to carrots to apples and sweet corn and blue pumpkins!
This is a chance to eat in a thoughtful way in tune with Alberta seasonality, and to discover new foods and cooking traditions. Plus you will be supporting a local farm, and building a local sustainable food system!
Our newsletter will supply you with recipes and ideas on how to prepare your veggies, as well as stories about the farm and programs.
We offer three series of CSA seasons to offer you a year-round program. You can sign up for one season or all three!
Summer CSA- June 23 - September 30. 15 Weeks with 17 Baskets. Maximum registration: 50 shares
Fall CSA - October 20 - January 29. 15 Weeks with 17 Baskets. Maximum registration: 12 shares
Deep Winter CSA - February 2- May 15 2023. 15 Weeks with 17 Baskets. Maximum registration: 8 shares
City Pick-Up Option - Available for our Summer, Fall, and Winter CSA programs. Pick-up location is at The Butchery at RGE RD Restaurant: 10643 123 St Edmonton, from 3:30-5:30pm on Thursdays. There is a one-time fee of $50.00 for Small Share, $75.00 for a Medium Share, and $100.00 for a Large Share. For the city option, we will curate your entire basket with the best vegetables that are in season. If you would prefer more choice, please select our Summer CSA Farm pick-up option.
Fall & Deep Winter CSA - For our Fall and Deep Winter options, we will curate your entire basket with in-season vegetables. We are more than happy to select vegetables based on your preferences, so requests are welcome! If you would like to choose from our market during, please select our Summer CSA Farm PU option.
Come Straight to the Farm for your Veggies!
The Break Down:
- Small Share - $510.00
(Over our 15-week long season, this works out to $30/week.) You should expect 5-8 types of veggies, fruit, and herbs in your box every week. The farm will choose from what's in peak season ($15 worth) and you will have a voucher for $15 to select your choice from the market. (Total of $30/week). You'll receive a double basket midway through the season and on the last week.
- Medium Share - $765.00
(Over our 15-week long season, this works out to $45/week.) You should expect 7-11 varieites of veggies, fruit and herbs in your box each week. The farm will choose from what's in peak season ($15 worth) and you will have a voucher for $30 to select your choice from the market. (Total of $45/week). You'll receive a double basket midway through the season and on the last week.
- Large Share - $1020.00
(Over our 15-week long season, this works out to $60/week.) You should expect 10-15 varieties of veggies, herbs, and fruit in your box each week. The farm will choose from what's in peak season ($15 worth) and you will have a voucher for $45 to select your choice from the market. (Total of $60/week). You'll receive a double basket midway through the season and on the last week.
TIPS for EATING without a Meal Plan.
Gardens do not grow according to Meal Plans or our go-to favorite most-often cooked with vegetables. Getting food from the edible garden is very different from a grocery store. Whether you grow your own garden or are part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) you will notice that veggies grow according to what's up with the weather. A cool wet spell means the greens are flourishing. A hot dry period means abundance of cucumbers, zucchinis and squash.
As a new real local food CSA member, you might find a different experience ahead on how to plan meals around what is ready to harvest. It's like getting a surprise box each week to hone in your cooking skills. Move over - master chef! However, making meals from homegrown vegetables is the ultimate goal. You just need to be flexible, willing to try new things, and patient!
Pesto is your new best friend-o! There will be an abundance of farm greens in the early spring - and plenty enough through the summer to pickle or to freeze a few items for the long winter months. Don't sweat it - just get creative!
There is an important concept woven into the CSA model that takes the arrangement beyond just buying vegetables. That is the notion of shared risk: in a CSA, members pay up front for the whole season and the farmers do their best to provide an abundant box of produce each week. Weather and mother nature play a role in the arrangement. Bumper crop years mean abundance is shared. Drought means that the risk is shared. This past season, we offered plenty of potatoes, greenhouse tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and pumpkins. The beets, carrots, and other root crops were late – but eventually lovely. Sadly, the drought killed off the celeriac.
What Are Families Saying About our CSA program?
We are absolutely loving it! Me and my family are having so much fun planning all of our meals around the produce we get each week and discovering so many vegetables I knew nothing about, so thank you!
Here’s the seasonal breakdown of when veggies are ready from the farm for your table:
SUMMER June - September
- April & May – Greenhouse greens, green onions, potatoes, herbs, plus spring bedding plants, tomato & herb plants to plant in your own patio planter to enjoy all summer
- June – Spring greens and winter onions, rhubarb, salad fixings, lamb's quarters, amaranth greens, edible flowers, dried peas and selected herbs.
- July – there’s many types of greens, from bok choi to komatsuna, lettuce, salad fixin’s, heirloom tomatoes, beets, peas, zucchini, cousa, crookneck squash, greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes. Fruit: haskap berries, strawberries, rhubarb.
- August and September, your baskets will overflow with abundance – large assortments and quantities of all kinds of vegetables, tomatoes, fennel, potatoes, zucchini, carrots, greens, broccoli, broccolini, spigerello, cabbage (many kinds), kale (many kinds), mustard greens, tatsoi and beans of all colours. Fruit: Raspberries, saskatoons, late strawberries, rhubarb, early apples.
- September, you will enjoy sweet corn, garlic, fall greens, Swiss chard, cabbage, cauliflower, kholrabi, winter squash, pumpkins, blue pumpkins, tromboncini, Brussels sprouts, root vegetables, sunchokes, sunflower seed heads, and several varieties of exotic potatoes. Fruit: fall apples and fall strawberries/li>
FALL October - January
- Fall cole crops - Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, broccoli
- Roots of all kinds from onions to beets, carrots, parsnip, winter radish to turnips to rutabaga.
- Heirloom tomatoes
- Kholrabi, tatsoi, mustard greens, Swiss chard
- Winter squash and pumpkins
- Wheat berries, dried peas, faba beans
- Greenhouse Faba greens, mustard greens
- Fruit: Fall Apples
DEEP WINTER January - May
- Winter storage veggies- roots of all kinds - potatoes, onions, carrots, rutabagas, garlic, beets, turnips, radish
- Cole crops - cabbage, Brussels sprouts, winter kale
- Wide array of winter squash, pumpkins, blue pumpkins, kabocha, hubbard, acorn, vegetable spaghetti, crookneck, tromboncini
- Wheat berries, dried peas, faba beans
- Greenhouse greens - mustards, Swiss chard, beet greesn, lettuce, herbs, edible flowers
- Spring greens - French sorrel, winter onions, green onions.
- Transplants from the greenhouse (your choice of vegetable, herb or flowering plants).