Do you have your family farmer yet?
Montreal, March 27, 2012 – The family farmers in Equiterre's community supported agriculture (CSA) network are now accepting orders from across Quebec for the summer season of deliveries. More than 80 farms (that have either been certified organic or are in the process of doing so) will be delivering weekly baskets of fresh produce to 371 drop-off points across 14 regions of the province. This year, capacity is such that more than 35,000 Quebecers can enjoy a vegetable basket from a family farmer – without ever setting foot in a supermarket.
A typical basket contains 6 to 12 freshly harvested fruits or vegetables grown without the use of synthetic pesticides.
Equiterre's family farmer program enables citizens to support local agriculture and facilitates access to a wide range of local meat and produce. "The sad fact is that it can be difficult to find food that is both local and organic in a supermarket. Instead of having to choose between local and organic – and compromising on either your health or that of the environment or the local economy – our baskets let you prioritize both," said Isabelle St-Germain, deputy executive director of Equiterre.
The make-up of the basket depends on that week's harvest. Equiterre posts recipes on its French-language website so that consumers can make the most of their baskets. "The baskets are full of local flavours to discover. It's a passport to good eating, whether simple or gourmet. We encourage people to share their recipes with us," said Isabelle St-Germain. Most family farmers also share recipes.
Some of the farms also offer organic meat, with deliveries to various drop-off points.
How to sign up?
- Use our "Find a drop-off point" page at www.equiterre.org/solution/fermier-de-famille (in French only).
- Scroll down to LISTE DES POINTS DE CHUTES.
- Select Fruits, Légumes (vegetables) or Viande (meat).
- Select an area from the Emplacement menu.
- Select a city.
- Where applicable, select a neighbourhood.
- Click Appliquer.
- Contact the farmer directly to sign up.
How does it work?
"The farmer shares the risks and benefits with the consumer," explained Isabelle Joncas, project manager for Equiterre. "Changes in the weather (frost, rain, hail, drought) affect the contents of the basket, but farmers work hard to deliver a product that is consistently good." If the yields are good, then the consumers get to partake in the surplus. Each year, farmers become more efficient.
Depending on the farm, consumers can choose between individual, two-person or family-sized baskets. Most farmers have a swap basket and allow time off for holidays. Payments can usually be made in installments. For a full season, which lasts from 12 to 22 weeks depending on the farm, the average cost of a basket is about $350.
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Photos and graphics available upon request.