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Community Supported Agriculture workshop Nov. 18


November 11, 2014
By Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development

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November 11, 2014, Lacombe, Alta – Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is an alternative, locally based economic model of agriculture and food distribution.

“CSA is a simple concept,” says Karen Goad, farm direct marketing specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Grande Prairie. “Basically, consumers buy a ‘share’ of the crop before it’s planted and then visit a central pick up location throughout the growing season to gather their share of the weekly harvest.”

“There is something really neat about growing food for people,” says Wayne Sollid of Sunhill Gardens near Camrose.

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For more than 10 years Wayne and Karen Sollid have been living their dream to produce fresh, tasty local food. Starting with about two acres of vegetables in 2008, Sunhill Gardens’ fresh produce was a staple in several Edmonton and Camrose area farmers’ markets and is now available through the growing Sunhill Gardens CSA.

“Each season is unique and along with the farmer members share in the risks and rewards that each year brings,” explains Karen Sollid.

Expanding every year since its inception in 2010, the summer CSA at Sunhill Gardens now offers fresh vegetable and herb shares to 150 members for 12 weeks starting in mid-July. CSA members have the opportunity to link with neighbouring farmers for pasture-fed pork, beef, eggs and honey. A winter CSA, added in 2013, provides storage vegetables to an additional 50 members from October through January.

For people interested in learning more about CSAs, the Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Explore Local initiative is hosting a one-day Getting into CSA workshop on November 18, 2014, at the Provincial Building in Lacombe.

The cost for the workshop is $35, and that includes snacks and lunch. Registrations must be received by November 12. To register, contact Delores at 780-427-4611. For more information, contact Karen Goad at 780-538-5629 or via email at karen.goad@gov.ab.ca.