The Creston Grain CSA is getting ready to deliver to Nelson – by sail boat…
This is an exciting climax to a long season’s wait for the produce, and a fitting tribute to the intent of the Community Supported Agriculture Project – to create a viable, community driven source of local grains in the Kootenays…
CANADA’S FIRST INLAND DISTRIBUTION OF GRAIN BY SAILBOAT?As if this year’s launch of Canada’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project for grain hasn’t already generated enough excitement; it now gets even better!On October 24, a fleet of sailboats will depart Nelson enroute to the southern shores of Kootenay Lake. Once at Kuskanook Harbour, a team of Creston Valley farmers and local food advocates will load sacks of grain onto the boats for shipment to Nelson. In the sacks will be Red Fife Wheat, Khorasan Wheat, Hard Spring Wheat, Spelt and Oats.
The grain is the product of the first season of an innovative model of creating a local grain economy in the southern interior of British Columbia. In early 2008, 180 people from several different communities came together and committed $100 each to fund a grain-growing pilot project.
At a time of immense global challenges; skyrocketing prices of fuel, uncertain supplies of oil, a farm income crisis, climate change, food safety concerns and a decline in the nutritional composition of our food supply, the Nelson-Creston Grain CSA is a promising sign that alternatives are indeed possible.
“My initial motivation to have grain grown locally was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says CSA founder and West Kootenay EcoSociety’s Matt Lowe. “I never imagined that there were farmers out there eager to grow grains with horses instead of tractors and I certainly had never thought that anyone would propose to transport the grains via sailboat!”
As part of the internationally syndicated radio show Deconstructing Dinner, Producer/Host Jon Steinman has been documenting the evolution of the CSA since its inception in late 2007. “I think what this latest development in the CSA helps capture is just how impactful the move towards more localized food systems can be in bringing a community of people together,” says Steinman.
Since Matt Lowe conceived the idea in the Summer of 2007, local food advocates have come forward alongside three farming families, a local bakery, and two millers. There are also many bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores who are all expressing an eager interest to become involved next season.
“Now we have the transportation of the grain finding its place within this local food system,” says Steinman. “And the most beautiful thing of it all,” he adds, “is that everyone is coming forward simply out of the passion to see a thriving local food system – no one is doing this out of greed or out of an interest to make a quick dollar – this truly is a community coming together.”
Jay Blackmore is one of the many sailors with the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association who plans to be loading his boat with grains this weekend. “I was inspired by the local grain project the moment I heard about it,” says Blackmore. “As someone who loves to sail for pleasure, I immediately saw an opportunity to combine pleasure with purpose and lend my skills and resources to this project.”
CSA organizers expect the sailboats to be in Kuskanook Harbour (north of Wynndel) in the early afternoon on Saturday, October 25. From there, the sailors along with their cargo of grain hope to arrive in Nelson at 5pm on Sunday, October 26 at the Prestige Lakeside Resort.
Organizers are encouraging the communities of Nelson and Creston to come out and celebrate this momentous event. Perhaps it will mark the first of an annual tradition.
Saturday October 25
Where: Kuskanook Harbour (Hwy 3A between Wynndel and Sirdar)
Sunday October 26
Where: Prestige Lakeside Resort (Frisco’s Patio), 701 Lakeside Drive, Nelson
When: Sunday, October 26, 4:30-6:00pm
NOTE: Due to possible weather delays, the above times may need to be adjusted. We will be sure to keep all interested posted of any changes.
(This was sent to me by email, so apologies for not linking to a contributing site and quoting in full).
Let me know if you are planning on being there!