The Merville Organics Growers’ Co-operative is disbanding… and according to its members, that’s a good thing.
“The co-op was designed to grow small farms and it has done that job incredibly well,” said Mariette Sluyter of Whitaker Farm, in a statement.”
Through this co-operative, small farms explored their capacity by working collectively on marketing and distribution. It was originally the brainchild of Merville-area farmers Moss Dance (Ripple Farm) and Arzeena Hamir (Amara Farm).
The co-op grew, with the addition of Kloverdalen Farm, Green Arrow Farm, Umbella Farm, Whitaker Farm and Tendergreens Farm.
One of the successful programs of the co-op was the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Veggie Box Program, wherein customers pre-purchased a season’s worth of harvested local vegetables, delivered weekly.
The program was established to provide consumers with quality local product, while also giving farmers the stability of an assured market.
What started as a 15-member program in 2014 eventually grew to 190 members by 2020.
In 2021, three of the farms – Kloverdalen, Whitaker, and Tendergreens, will offer their own food box programs.
“To our many supporters and customers, we want to thank you for your continued energy and support,” said Sluyter. “Our farmers keep farming because you have shown us quality certified organic local produce is important to you. Simplifying logistics and staying flexible in these uncertain times is what is needed from our growers in order to serve you best.”