Put a Farm in a Box and Take it Home

radishes picked from the garden
Community Shared Agriculture (CSA)
Have you ever heard of it? The concept is simple, you give a farmer some money and they grow food on your behalf. Every week you get a box full of fruits and vegetables and the farmers get paid for their hard work. Quid pro quo.

This past semester an intern student from France joined our office and worked on a project designed to increase community agriculture on campus. Coraline's idea was to get a CSA started on campus and help build a more sustainable food system. Here's the thought process;
  1. People on campus need more access to locally grown food. Partnering with a local farm that has the capacity to deliver food to uOttawa greatly increases the chances that the community will take advantage of it.
  2. Access is one of the greatest challenges people face when trying to make healthy food choices. The easier it is to get your food, the more of it you will eat. Bringing healthy foods right to the campus will make it easier for more people to obtain that food.
  3. You need to be the change you want to see in society. If you want to have a more local food in society you need to create more opportunities for our farmers to sell to a local market.
So here is how the program works. We partnered with the farm, "Ferme aux pleinessaveurs", to deliver baskets to the campus every week. Community members have signed up for the boxes, which you can be received on a weekly or biweekly basis.

There are 2 possible box sizes, large and small, with an assortment of fruits and vegetables in each one. The boxes are delivered to the Office of Campus Sustainability where you can pick your box and trade some of the items you might not want. Our lovely partners provide you with a weekly reminder email accompanied by a feature recipe for the week. 

The program launch was targeted at employees and professors. As of right now, anyone in the campus community who wants them, even the surrounding community, can sign up and get their box the following week. You can sign up for a basket or get mote information about the programs by clicking here.

The beauty of this program is that you don't have to do anything except get excited about your food basket. As the program matures, we are hoping to get a box going in the winter time as well. Already, during the fall season, our farmers are creating salsa and jams for their baskets.

If you are interested in joining the CSA, you can also contact Jon Rausseo for more details about how the whole programs works. Tomorrow is the first shipment to our office... excitement, happiness, good food and more news to come!


~jON - campus sustainability manager

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