The Gleaner
Agriculture

Organic Veggie baskets return

The Family Farmers Network has launched its registration campaign for this year’s summer organic vegetable baskets. Three Valley farms will be offering community supported agriculture (CSA) baskets in the area this year through this platform: Les Jardins de la Résistance, Les Jardins Glenelm, and Les Jardins d’En Haut.

Jessica Elwell of Les Jardins de la Résistance explains that “For us, being a farmer is more than just growing vegetables. At the heart of our ambitions, there is a greater objective that drives us; it is to contribute to our community and to a social project that serves the greater good. We want everyone to be able to eat fresh, local vegetables grown with respect for the environment and its biodiversity.”

Customers buying their veggies through CSA is also extremely helpful for local farmers. Mylaine Massicotte of Les Jardins d’En Haut says that sales have dropped a bit in recent years, which she attributes to people not wanting to subscribe “because it is perceived as a luxury product.” However, participating in CSA subscriptions can be better for both the farmer and consumer as it cuts out the middleman (grocery stores). She adds that “Subscribing to vegetable baskets is not just about buying vegetables. By paying in advance for the season, we allow farmers to know in advance what will be sold, to have an idea of their income, and to have a better control of the production.”

Ian Ward of Les Jardins Glenelm explains that in the current period of inflation, these baskets’ prices offer some financial benefits. “The prices of vegetables in grocery stores went up an average of 13 to 14 percent last year … The farmers in our network have increased prices by about 7 or 8 percent,” he says. Plus, the pricing is consistent all season “You have a guaranteed price. We set our prices in November of last year and we’re bound to it.”

To reserve your basket, Ward explains that “Any of the farmers in our network can be reached through fermierdefamille.com. People just put in their postal code, and it pulls up the farm nearest to them.”

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