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Kootenay Grain Community Supported Agriculture

The following post was written by my wife Robyn, hopefully we’ll see more posts on her perspective of local food and sustainability.

Looking forward to the harvest…
As I gaze across my flourishing garden my mouth begins to water as I imagine the taste of buttery-baked buttercup squash on a cold winter evening.   I ponder the yield of winter turnips and potatoes we will have packed away in cold storage.  If I let my mind wander further afield, I also consider the tall grain stalks growing in the sunny Creston fields and wonder at the success of this year’s crop.  I am no farmer, well not yet, but I do own a bit of grain growing up as part of Canada’s first grain CSA.  I hope you will read this in time to purchase your own share of what is growing up over in Creston – we have enjoyed the experience immensely.

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Kootenay Grain Community Supported Agriculture

The Kootenay Grain CSA is a first step towards thinking differently about our food. We have been working to develop a new approach to accessing a secure and sustainable grain supply. By supporting local grain growers, CSA members provide them with a consistent market and an adequate income while they grow our food using natural, responsible farming methods. As consumers, members contribute to solving many global issues, while supporting healthy, sustainable, locally produced food.

The are approximately 75 individual 2009 Kootenay Grain CSA shares left to be sold.  An individual grain share costs $125 and is made up of Hard Spring Wheat (20 lbs), Hard Winter Wheat (20 lbs), Spelt (20 lbs), Khorasan (20 lbs), and Oats (20 lbs).  As with any CSA model, the final yield share will depend on crop performance.  We purchased one share last year and increased to two shares for the 2009 season and a lentil share.  With the additional purchases of a manual flour mill and an oat flaker, we have been enjoying Creston grain in our baking and cereal almost everyday in additional to our lentil soups and stews.

The Kootenay Grain CSA will be hosting a Farm Tour on Saturday, July 25. All shareholders are welcome to tour the farms, meet the farmers, see your “bread growing in the field” (as one 2008 shareholder put it). We will rendezvous at the College of the Rockies (301 – 16th Avenue S) in Creston at 10:00 am, carpool to the farms for a tour (we’ll split into 3 groups and each group will visit one farm), eat lunch, then meet at Kootenay Alpine Cheese where the Harris family will give a tour of their organic dairy farm and fromagerie.

The Kootenay Grain CSA has allowed us to purchase local naturally grown food.  We have formed a connection with the farmers and have shared in the joy of the harvest.  And now, in our own home, we share in the milling of the grain… and the feast of pancakes!