I received an email regarding subscription to a Grain CSA operating in the Creston Valley:

The seed is ordered, the fields are almost clear of snow, and the farmers are primed to get the crops planted.  The four grains that will be grown this year and their approximate proportions are wheat (40%); both Hard Red Spring and the heritage variety of Red Fife; Polish Wheat (Kamut) (25%); Oats (25%) and Spelt (10%).   Shares are $100 each for a planned yield of 100 pounds of combined grains per share. 

216921719_7b2549f863_m Since this is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, the farmers are guaranteed full payment for their efforts while the share holders must be willing to accept an amount of grain in proportion to the success of the harvest. 

We have confidence in our three farm families, all of who have grown grain successfully, but we cannot guarantee 100 percent success in this project.  This is a pilot project to re-establish grain growing in our region and the farmers will be challenged with growing a variety of grains for commercial use.  We are using the CSA model because we don’t want to make the mistakes of the past and make the farmers bear the financial risk of growing our food.  We want to make this a viable livelihood for them.  By being a part of this CSA, you are not only investing in a share of grain come harvest, you are also investing in the future food supply of this region.

Until moving to the Kootenays, I would never have considered buying into a grain Co-op. My favourite food podcast covered this last month…

Deconstructing Dinner – The Local Grain Revolution Series

Using the model of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), this grain CSA will see three Creston-area farmers commit to growing three types of grain in the coming 2008 season. Two-hundred member shares will be issued to residents of Nelson and Creston, and come harvest time, those two-hundred members, will hopefully, receive 100lbs of whole grains.

If requested, a miller in Creston and Nelson will be on hand to turn those grains into flour or flakes. This will ensure members are only using the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious product available.

When I mentioned this to my wife she was excited, "Let’s do it". I’ll let you know how we go.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

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