Locally grown produce is still a little sparse, judging from inventory at Thursday’s Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market. But in case all the plant starts escaped your notice, this is the time for planning gardens and gearing up for the growing season.
And it’s the ideal time to sign up for a community-supported agriculture program, as explained in this week’s A Fresh Approach column, which comes on the heels of a January A la Carte story about the farming model. Jan Roberts-Dominguez cited a listing maintained by the Oregon Environmental Council that basically parallels the Mail Tribune’s own listing of local CSAs.
Ours is a bit more up-to-date and still gaining entries. The most recent is Jacksonville CSA, a new program that can serve 20 to 30 families with produce from Lakota’s Garden, Walker Creek Farm and Hootenanny Farm.
Organizer Ken Snoke, also behind J’ville Farmers Market, is really leveraging Jacksonville resources to supply CSA subscribers. Like other CSAs, Jacksonville’s will offer add-ons of eggs, honey, locally raised meats, baked goods and prepared foods.
Among those items will be Walker Creek’s Greek specialities sold Thursdays at the growers market. I’ve sampled its spanikopita and prefer it to another version sold at the market. This week, Walker Creek also had meat pies prepared with Salant Family Ranch beef.
And unlike many other CSAs that are vegetable-heavy, Snoke plans to capitalize on the availability of fruit, including some 40 types of melons grown at Lakota’s Garden, table grapes and tree fruit from Caprice Vineyards and blueberries from Walker Creek.
“I think we’ll be really good on the fruit side,” says Snoke. “People aren’t gonna be disappointed.”
The CSA price is $600 for 20 weeks starting the first week of June. A price list for add-ons is forthcoming and will be posted to www.jvillecsa.com, set to go live in a couple weeks. Snoke says he’ll accommodate a number of payment plans and will allow cancellations if subscribers aren’t totally satisfied.
At this point, enrollment is wide open. Weekly delivery to Jacksonville residents is included in the price, or subscribers can pick up their shares at the town’s Saturday market. Call Snoke at 541-499-9748, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find him at the market, which starts May 7.