Community supported agriculture (CSA) is booming: Winter Green Farm in Noti delivers fresh farm produce to about 500 members each week, up from 35 members when it first started 24 years ago.
“Local food is rockin’ it,” says Linda Davies, Winter Green Farm’s office and CSA manager. Add a community supported fishery (CSF) to the mix and the Oregon-grown food scene looks even better.
To celebrate Lane County’s love of food grown and produced locally, First United Methodist Church is hosting the 16th Annual That’s My Farmer Celebration on April 14. A fundraiser to help low-income families participating in CSAs, the event allows visitors to meet farmers from 15 local farms and sign up to have a CSA box full of fruits and vegetables delivered each week.
“It’s a chance to say to people, ‘Here are your farmers,’” says Leah Geocaris, an organizer for That’s My Farmer. “Here are the people growing food locally, and here’s how you can support them.”
CSAs are important to local farmers, Davies says, and she estimates that about a third of her farm’s income is sourced from CSA members. “We find that people come out to compare and explore the different farms,” she says, “and most farmers go home with at least one new membership.”
Attendees of That’s My Farmer can also expect to sample produce from the various farms. Davies says Winter Green Farm is bringing beet chocolate cupcakes.
Geocaris says this is the first year the event will feature a community supported fishery, Port Orford Sustainable Seafood. Members can purchase a full share for $110 a month, which includes 8 pounds of seafood, enough to provide four meals over the course of a month.
“Right now we have open enrollment all year every year until we reach our maximum of around 400 members, and we’re currently at around half of that, with members evenly distributed between the northern and southern half of the state,” says Michael Baran, the fishery’s CSF program manager.
Baran says that Eugene CSF members can pick up their seafood, including lingcod, black cod, rockfish and Dungeness crab, at Beezup’s Farm in Eugene.
The event is also a fundraiser — last year, it raised over $4,000 for low-income assistance, helping out families who can’t afford CSA membership on their own.
That’s My Farmer is 6 pm Tuesday, April 14, at First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St.; $10-$15 suggested donation.