Through the Community Supported Agriculture program, consumers can buy vegetables and fruit boxes (right), or flower arrangements (left).

Through the Community Supported Agriculture program, consumers can buy vegetables and fruit boxes (right), or flower arrangements (left).

Comox Valley farmers expand Community Supported Agriculture program

Would you love to take advantage of the bounty of the Comox Valley but can’t make it to a farmer’s market?

Local farmers are making it easier for consumers to buy vegetables, fruit, flowers, and sprouts by purchasing a weekly share from their harvests.

Dubbed a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), these shares enable farmers to get cash flow early in the season and help them plan for a stable market base. Consumers pay for the full season’s bounty in advance, which gives the farmers a measure of security.

“That’s the whole idea of the shares,” said Amara Farm owner Arzeena Hamir. “This way the farmers know exactly how many shares they are growing for. It’s kind of imperative that the farmers know that in advance.”

The response to the fall program spurred on the expansion.

“We know that this last year has really highlighted the need to support and promote local food production,” said Hamir. “While not everyone can make it to the farmer’s market, here’s another way for consumers to ensure that their purchasing supports local farms. We started a fall veggie box program last year when the demand spiked and are planning to now expand to the summer months.”

The weekly boxes are not just limited to vegetables and fruit. A number of flower growers in the Comox Valley are also using this model.

“Our Floral Subscription/CSA is a great way for Comox Valley residents to feel connected to the flowers that bring joy into their homes, while supporting a local flower movement,” said Thanushi Eagalle, owner of Wild Bee Florals. “We are creating a multi-sensory experience in seasonality for our customers to enjoy through flowers.”

Each of the farms involved in the local CSA is operating independently, and as such, prices and products vary from farm to farm.

For more information, a number of CSA programs are listed below, including contact information.

Vegetable CSAs

Pendleton Farm offers a summer vegetable CSA program, with each box containing an average value of $30 worth of freshly harvested, seasonal fruit and vegetables. The CSA begins June 1, with pickup location at Pendleton Farm each Tuesday. There are both weekly and bi-weekly options available. For more information or to check out last year’s CSA boxes please head to the website at pendletonfarm.com or look up on Instagram at @pendleton_farm

Kloverdalen Farm, located on the corner of Island Highway and Rennison Rd, is offering A Summer CSA starting June 1. On-farm pick-up is Tuesdays and Fridays. Details at Kloverdalenfarm.com

Amara Farm is certified organic vegetable and berry farm located 10 minutes north of Courtenay. The farm will be providing a 10-week summer veggie & fruit box and a 6-week fall veggie box. In addition, the farm provides seedling bundles for home gardeners that are sold in packages of 10 different types of veggies available in May, August and September. For more information, visit the farm’s website at www.amarafarm.ca or email amarafarm@gmail.com

Whitaker Farm is offering a 16-week summer CSA with a choice of on-farm pick-up or delivery to Cumberland, Comox and Courtenay starting in mid-June. Weekly boxes are delivered or picked up mid-week with a variety of veggies you love or will learn to love. From the sweetest carrots from our fields to refreshing greenhouse cucumbers, we do it all for you. Visit whitakerfarmyqq.com for more information

Flower CSAs

Wilder Floral Collective is a collaboration between two flower farmers: Thanu of Wild Bee Florals and Camille of Daughter of Flowers. We offer beautiful spring and summer flower subscriptions for Comox Valley residents starting in April. These seasonal flowers are grown without pesticides or fungicides, and you receive these lush beauties within 24 hours of being cut! Currently we are offering free pick-up at our Farm in Dove Creek, Cumberland Studio, Gladstone Brewing in downtown Courtenay and Pendleton Farm in Merville. Delivery is available at an additional cost. To find out more, visit wilderfloralcollective.com or email wilderfloralcollective@gmail.com.

Coastal Island Farm, located in Merville provides a weekly and monthly bouquet subscription for pick-up or delivery from July-October. Savour the summer with our beautiful mixed bouquets filled with a plethora of specialty cut flowers. Choose from monthly or weekly options of 4, 8 or 12 weeks. Each lush bouquet features our most beautiful in season blooms and comes wrapped in brown kraft paper with a Coastal Island Farm label. Purchase is available at coastalislandfarm.com

Blue Cottage Flower Co. is thrilled to offer CSA subscriptions throughout the blooming months of 2021. Our small-scale flower farm, situated in the Merville area, bursts with blossoms from June until frost. We offer weekly delivery/pick-up and CSA bouquet subscription, offering various bouquet sizes, full of dahlias, zinnias, sweet peas, snapdragons and more. Folks, there is no need to buy import blooms when buckets of bouquets a-plenty abound in the Comox Valley. Find us on Facebook and Instagram, or visit us online at blue-cottage-flowers-co.square.site Proprietor: Jacki Zbirun

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