Joining a CSA or community-supported agriculture program is a great way to eat local food and support a local farmer. Here's a list of Niagara farms offering CSAs, updated March 30, 2020.
I have a rutabaga the size of a human head in my living room.
Perhaps you are unimpressed by this revelation. Perhaps you've seen bigger rutabagas. That's cool but I find its girth a little overwhelming. I've been eating rutabaga nearly every week for the past couple of months.
Again, you might find this unimpressive. But for someone who's maybe eaten it as many times in her whole life prior to this gorge-fest, this is big for me. So I might just name my human-head-sized rutabaga Vlad and hang with him a while longer before breaking out my vegetable peeler. You know, get a feel for him, chat him up and see what he's about before turning him into soup or fries. Or turning into a rutabaga myself since I've eaten so many...
To what do I owe this onslaught of the oval, off-white and tan root veggies that I'm now making the centre of my social life? My winter CSA.
I am telling you this not as a complaint but as a celebration of the abundance that a CSA gives. I will be marking my 15th season as CSA member.
To enable others to experience such joy — it really is like Christmas every week when I receive my haul of vegetables — I'm encouraging others to sign up for a CSA. I really want to spread the word about all the options for people to put more Niagara on their plates and help a small-scale farmer in the process.
Rick and Shirley Ladouceur of Chez Nous Farms offer a certified organic CSA.
Here's a list of CSA providers in Niagara. Check them out. Make some calls. Make friends with a farmer. Many will allow you to pay in instalments, too, if the signup price seems daunting. It's all good. Especially those rutabagas.
Niagara farms offering CSAs
Meier Family Organic Farm, Welland. 16 weeks. Full-size or single baskets. Pickup at the store.
Minglehill Farms, Beamsville. 19 weeks. Certified organic vegetables. Pickup or delivery. Flexible pickup days.
Thiessen Farms, Jordan. 18 weeks. Mix of fruit and vegetables; half and full shares. Pickup at farm.
Chez Nous Farms, Stevensville. Certified organic. Vegetables with the option of adding eggs and/or extra greens. Pickup at farm or St. Catharines Farmers Market.
Rhizome Farms, St. Catharines. Grown using organic methods. Three basket sizes. Vegetables. Pickup at farm and designated location in Grimsby; free delivery in St. Catharines and $5-delivery regionally.
Rumar Farm, Fonthill. 18 weeks. Mix of fruit and vegetables. Certified organic and Demeter-certified biodynamic. Pickup at farm.
Victor’s Farm Shares, Ridgeville. 18 weeks. Full and half shares with option of eggs included. Pickup at farm and limited delivery.
Old Country Acres Niagara, Niagara Falls. Heirloom vegetables grown using organic methods. Delivery or pickup at farm.
Ohme Farms, Jordan. Weekly vegetable boxes. Farm pickup or delivery.