Food Box Program/CSA
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way of buyng fresh, local and (in this case) certified organic produce that benefits both the farmer and the consumer. Usually, you need to register and pay in advance to receive a share of what the farm harvests each week. (Read a timeline about how this ethical buying model has evolved in Ontario.)
Garden Party has offerred CSA shares since the late 1990s. Over the years, we have offered many different versions of the classic CSA. (In fact, we are writing a book about these trials - so stay tuned for that.)
Our 2015 CSA Program
For 2015 we are partnering with Bailey's Local Foods to offer a very flexible program. Bailey's is an on-line farmers' market in Kitchener-Waterloo. Farmers and artisanal processors list their items there. You go online, choose what you want and put it in your shopping cart. At the designated day the producers all bring the items ordered to First United Church in Waterloo. You come and pick up and pay for your order.
Garden Party is partnering with Bailey's to offer our CSA 'shares' through this on-line market. This has benefits for all of us.
It helps Bailey's because we hope the program will bring them new members. You just go to their site and register - it costs $20 for the year. Then you can order whatever and whenever you want. Bailey's offers a huge diversity of local and artisanal products.
It helps us because we only need to harvest for what was ordered. So we don't have 'excess' vegetables sitting in our cooler. Plus, we are just 10 minutes from the drop spot - so this saves us a lot of time. We just pack, drop and then get right back to working on the farm!
It helps you because you don't have to pay for a whole season of vegetables up front. You just order in the weeks you want a share, and you pay week by week. So this is more flexibile if you are going on vacation for example.
About Our Produce
In the summer and fall, all of the vegetables in the share are grown on our farm, just 10 minutes west of Waterloo and we are certified under the Ontario Foodland Organic program.
In the winter, we buy organic fruit and winter vegetables in from other farmers. We only buy in distant produce if it is not available in Ontario, and if it is certified organic.
How it Works
You register with Bailey's. This costs you $20 for a year.
Once you register you will be able to order from their on-line market of local and artisanal products.
You will see our Garden Party 'grab bags' (see below), and many other local artisanal foods, on their list. You select whichever combination of items you want and put them in your shopping cart. You can order every week, or whenever you want a vegetable share.
You go to the Bailey's drop spot as directed to pick up and pay for your order. Even if you order other products (like organic milk, eggs, meats...) with your Garden Party 'grab bag', you pick it all up in one stop and pay Bailey's for everything together. (Bailey's then sends us payment.)
What's in a 'Share' or 'Grab Bag'?
Garden Party 'shares' are packed in insulated red bags. You just return the bag to Bailey's the next time you go. You can choose whichever combination of bags suits you:
Garden Party Organic Vegetable Grab Bag ($25)
- 7-9 different seasonal vegetables, perfect for a couple, or for a family that also likes to visit farm stores and markets for produce
- We grow a wide range of vegetables: 'greens' (arugula, spinach, lettuce, kale, collards, chard, bok choy, snow peas..), specialty items like asparagus, broccoli, 'roots' (potatoes, beets, turnips..), onion family items (red onions, spanish onions, green onions, leeks, garlic), and heat loving veg (beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, tomatillos...).
Garden Party Organic Fruit Bag ($25)
- mix of organic local and organic distant fruit
- includes at least 4 different kinds of fruit (apples, pears, oranges, bananas, kiwi, melons, cantaloupe, rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums...)
Garden Party Organic Juicers Bag ($25)
- a mix of vegetables with juicing in mind
- includes leafy greens (kales, spinach), apples, pears or other fruit, mint & ginger, carrots and beets
Garden Party Organic Misfits Bag ($15)
- 5-7 different organic vegetables that are 'seconds' (slightly mishapen or damaged)
- these bags are offerred at a substantial discount, making your share very affordable
How do I start?
- Just register with Bailey's whenever you want to start ordering.
- Our grab bags (shares) will be there beginning in June. And - you'll see other products from Garden Party too, like our fermented vegetables!
- But be aware that we limit the number of shares we can offer each week depending on our harvest. So - watch the dates on Bailey's and order early!!