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View Diary: Free Food: Foraging and Other Ways to Eat Locally (39 comments)

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  •  I love this concept... but where I live (1+ / 0-)
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    wide eyed lib

    (rural Ontario), there's not much around.  Our growing season is quite short, which may be part of the reason.  I just found out that the best stand in town (there are two) gets their produce from a vendor in Toronto (150 miles).  So, it's not local either.  I looked at the CSA list for Ontario.  All but one of the locations are over 150 miles from here.  The other one is about 80 miles away.  I'm going to check that one out.

    What I did do this year is plant some herbs.  I was late getting them started, but it's my first try, so we'll see how they do.  I planted dill, cilantro and Italian parsley.  They've just begun to sprout.  Here's hoping they keep growing.  Bad news is that this summer we haven't gotten much sun.  Lots of rain, though.

    Also bought two planters with basil, lavender, rosemary, thyme, chives, parsley and oregano.

    I love having these herbs growing on my front porch.  Will plant more next year!

    •  That link probably isn't comprehensive (0+ / 0-)

      so definitely google CSA + your town name to see if anything else comes up.

      But I know what you mean about short growing seasons (and all the darn rain), and you sound like you're quite a ways north of me. The summer/fall season of my CSA lasts only 22 weeks from early June to mid November. The rest of the year we have an option to stay on and get monthly (rather than weekly) deliveries of milk, eggs, potatoes, onions, kale, etc. But do investigate to see if there are other options near you.

      And of course home gardening is the most local and sustainable way to get food of all! If you have the space and are interested in extending your growing season, you can build your own geodome greenhouse relatively cheaply. That allows you to start seeds much earlier and then transplant them after the last frost.

      "If I understand the GOP, goverment is bloated, wasteful and inefficient. And private insurance companies can't compete with that." --Malacandra tweet, 6/24/09

      by wide eyed lib on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 06:44:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  According to the Thurston Organic Farm website, (1+ / 0-)
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        wide eyed lib

        the closest on that list to me, their growing season is 18 weeks, from mid-June to Mid-October.  Their "most popular" plans are $440 (feeds 1-2) and $640 (feeds 2-4), for the season.  But I'd have to factor in the cost of gas to drive the 3+ hours each week.  Pretty pricy, IMO.

        Will check to see if there are any other farms closer.  I know there's one, but not sure if it's organic and don't think they have a buying program.

        As for home gardening, we have a very small lot, and the soil is quite sandy.  Progress report on my herbs, dill seeds sprouted the best.  Shoots are abt an inch tall.  Looks like maybe half the cilantro seeds have sprouted just behind the dill.  So far, parsley is not growing at all, except for maybe one shoot (bummer).

        •  Ugh (0+ / 0-)

          That's a lot of driving and expensive as well. My CSA costs (for veggies only) $14.31 cents a week, while yours would be $24.44. And I don't have to commute to pick mine up.

          Obviously it's not an option for everyone, but I appreciate the fact that you're investigating the possibilities. If you have a local farmers market or a health food co-op or something along those lines, you could inquire about CSAs there. You might even be able to start one from scratch if you find a farmer who's interested and put up fliers or set up a website or write a letter to the editor or something. That's how CSAs got started in the first place.

          You might also ask the local non-organic farmer about their growing methods. Many farmers can't afford to certify or aren't interested in all the red tape but still practice sustainable agriculture. And your asking about a CSA might be just the spur they need.

          Finally, CSAs are becoming more and more common, so if you can't find something suitable this year then try again in a year or two.

          Good luck with the search and your garden. I'll try to send some sun your way. :)

          "If I understand the GOP, goverment is bloated, wasteful and inefficient. And private insurance companies can't compete with that." --Malacandra tweet, 6/24/09

          by wide eyed lib on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 08:12:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Small community... with two health food stores (1+ / 0-)
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            wide eyed lib

            but neither sells produce... mostly supplements, bulk stuff, dried herbs, and natural soaps, shampoos, etc.  Alas, no farmers' market.

            I found another organic co-op centered around a larger city about 112km south of us.  The participating farms seem to be spread around that center point.  One of the farms is actually local to me, but they raise beef & pork and grow only potatoes.

            Will keep looking and asking around.  Thanks for the encouragement.

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