Sunday, 8 March 2015

CSA Update: Sunnyside Farm

I recently blogged about the 2015 Spring-Summer CSA options for Kingston, but just came across Sunnyside Farm this evening so am sharing it with you now so you don't miss out on a fabulous opportunity. Remember, sign up for your favourite CSA today!

Sunnyside Farm

What: This will by Sunnyside Farm's second CSA year! Last year the CSA was sold out by April 1st and those lucky enough to get on the list received some great looking veggies. This year, Sunnyside has its sights on another successful year with a weekly offering of a variety of veggies - tomatoes, carrots, beets, beans, and much more! One unique feature of this CSA is that they are set up to do delivery within the city of Kingston! Of course, you can always pick up your share at the farm as a good excuse to get out into the country!

Growing Practices: organically grown

When: the CSA runs from June to October of 18 weekly deliveries for a full share or 9 bi-weekly deliveries for a half share

Price: $550 for a full share, and $300 for a half-share 

How to Sign Up: Registration is currently open! Click the Sign Up button on the page accessed here

Thursday, 26 February 2015

When Did Groceries Become an Import?

As I was watching the news tonight, a report came on about our weak Canadian dollar. What we save in gas prices will be lost elsewhere, they said. Anything we import - including groceries - will be more costly for Canadians, they stated.

When exactly did groceries become an import? We all know its true. Take one critical look at your grocery cart and name me at least 5 things that were grown or made here in Ontario... can you do it? Now look around at the countryside surrounding you and tell me we don't have the capacity to grow much of our own food.

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There's evidence all around us that it can be done. Let's take John's Deli as an example here in town. Its the dead middle of winter and yet they have local carrots, beats, potatoes, meat, greens, artichokes, bread, milk, cheese, and more. The soil around us can sustain us. Groceries are not an import so long as we fill our baskets with what is locally available to us.

Now I appreciate that the news often oversimplifies its stories. A low Canadian dollar certainly will have impact on consumers and what we pay at the till. However, its dangerous thinking to see our grocery store as an imported wonderland rather than a home-grown success. We have such a rich
capability to produce things ourselves. For that we should not have to pay the price of costly imports.

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When did groceries become an import? by Eat Local, Kingston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

2015 Spring/Summer CSAs

It's that time of year again! Time to start thinking about your Summer CSA. Many farms around Kingston are now taking registration for their 2015 spring/summer Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. In registering for a CSA, customers pre-pay for a seasons-worth of produce directly from the farmers themselves. This upfront investment can be integral to many farmers, giving them the necessary funds to do what they do through the season. The pay off for customers is equally rewarding. Not only do you get a fresh array of local produce each week, you get to know your farmers and the growing season intimately! 

This season, there are many farms to choose from and each CSA is a little different - each being really special and fantastic in their own rights. Here we offer the "Coles notes" on 11 CSAs from around the Kingston area. They are in no particular order (aside from reverse alphabetical) but offer details on what the CSA includes, when and where the CSA is available, how the CSA is priced, and how to register. Sign up for your favourite one ASAP - Summer CSAs fill up fast so get on the list soon to avoid disappointment! 

Salt of the Earth

What: Salt of the Earth is a young but vibrant farm just east of the causeway. Their CSA regularly includes 8-12 varieties of crop in each basket. As they describe it, "at the beginning of the season, lots of greens, peas, radishes; come late summer, its juicy and sweet peppers, tomatoes and melons, ripened under the hot sun; in the fall, its hardy crops like kale and broccoli, and rich squash and root vegetables to keep you warm in the shortening days and cooling weather"

A unique feature of this CSA is the Deluxe option which adds fresh cut flowers, a continuous selection of herbs, and additional crop veggies for storage. 

Growing Practice: "Our crops are grown without chemical fertilizers or synthetic pesticides"

When: 20 weeks from June 17th/20th to October 28th/31st. Pick up your box at the farm or go for the delivery option which brings your box closer to you in a predetermined pick-up spot in your neighbourhood (downtown and west end locations)

Price: Regular share $550, Regular share with delivery $650, Deluxe share $700, Deluxe share with delivery $800

How to Sign Up: Registration is currently open! Complete the registration form found at the bottom of the page here.

Root Radical CSA

What: Last year's CSA is a good indicator of what Root Radicalists can look forward to in 2015. The CSA began in early June offering veggies such as bok choy, greens, and kohlrabi. Through July and August, veggies such as beans, kale, onions, peppers, carrots, tomatoes - the list continues. The CSA wrapped up in late October, polishing off the season with new produce such as squash, zucchini, potatoes, and hot peppers.

Growing Practice: organically grown

When: Once per week starting in early-mid June and extending to late October or November. Pick ups occur on Tuesdays or Fridays from various points (Downtown, East and West ends, or at the Farm on Howe Island)

Price: $550 for the season

How to Sign Up: registration will begin on March 1st via the Root Radical website, accessible here

Roots Down 

What: Roots Down offers an impressively wide selection of produce. Some of the highlights include garlic scapes in June, broccoli, potatoes, and cabbage in the early summer season, watermelons, eggplant, and tomatillos in September, and a wide variety of herbs throughout.

Growing Practice: certified organic

When: The CSA season is 18 weeks long from mid-June to mid-October, pick up at a variety of locations including Kingston (downtown, north, west ends), Gananoque, Brockville, and Ottawa locations

Price: $500 for 18 weeks (full share) or $275 for 9 weeks (half share). In addition to this pricing, Roots Down is offering a few opportunities to save. (1) save up to $10 by registering for both the summer and fall CSA by June 30th, (2) register for the summer CSA by February 28th and get up to 30 bonus dollars for use at their online store

How to Sign Up: Sign up online here

Ravensfield Farm

What: Start the season off with an early bird box around the end of May that's filled with fiddleheads and other early garden offerings. Later in the season enjoy a regular supply of organic produce such as carrots, beets, garlic, herbs, parsnips, potatoes, greens and tomatoes.

Growing Practice: organically grown

When: 20 weeks from late June to the end of October, pick up on Saturdays at the Kingston Public Market 

Price: large shares $600 per season, small shares $400

How to Sign Up: contact the Ravensfield farmer Titia Posthuma at 613-268-2248, cheques can be made out to Titia and mailed to 1688 Old Brooke Rd., R.R.2, Maberly, ON K0H 2B0 no later than the end of March

Patchwork Gardens

What: Patchwork Gardens has a long successful history of great summer CSAs. This season, Patchwork will continue with its Market style CSA where CSA'ers get credit at their Springer Market Square Market stall. Stop in Thursdays and Saturdays to pick up what you want, when you want it!

Growing Practice: certified organic 

When: Patchwork will be at Springer Market Square Saturdays and most Thursdays between mid-May and late October

Price: Choose your price based on how much you anticipate to eat. CSA sign up begins at $300 giving you an average of $15/week for 20 weeks. Purchasing a CSA at $500 would give you an average of $25/week for 20 weeks. Payment is due by April 1st and that's no joke!

How to Sign Up: sign up online here

Main Street Market

What: Main Street Market is an urban food distributor offering local and organically grown fresh produce. Their CSA provides members with over 80 types of veggies, fruits, greens, and herbs throughout the season! Since that's an awful amount to list here, check out their "What's in a basket?" section on their website for the big long list! Another really neat thing about Main Street Market is their Bicycle Delivery option that gets your CSA basket to your front door via bicycle. 

Growing Practice: organically grown

When: Main Street Market's summer CSA runs from late May to late October. That's 23 weeks!

Price: There are four basic packages ranging from $190-$700, pick ups can be arranged for locations at Division & York Streets, Queen's Campus, or the Memorial Centre Market.

How to Sign Up: Purchase CSA plans on the website here, or get in touch with Main Street Market through their contact us page

Long Road Ecological Farm

What: Located in Harrowsmith, Long Road Ecological Farm offers yet another original take on the CSA. Not only do CSA'ers get seasonal greens, strawberries, and eggs (optional addition) this CSA includes Farm Sum (steamed buns, dumplings, kimchi, hot pot and more) and a one-on-one on-farm stir fry cooking lesson!

Growing Practice: organically grown

When: starts last week in June and run till October (17 weeks), pick ups will be available at the farm or at a yet-to-be-determined location in Kingston

Price: $560 for all 17 weeks, $650 for all 17 weeks with eggs, $300 for a bi-weekly arrangement (9 weeks), $350 for a bi-weekly arrangement with eggs

How to Sign Up: email Jonathan and Xiaobing at, stop in at their stall at the Queen's University Farmer's Market (Wednesdays 10-3pm in the JDUC) or give them a call at 613-305-0968, they are super friendly!

The Kitchen Garden

What: This year the Kitchen Garden has expanded its CSA design to offer increased flexibility for their customers. Select from 12, 16, 20 and 24 week CSA options, and two different sizes of 'standard' and 'grande'. The Kitchen Garden CSA works on a point system where points can be spent each week at their market stall, thereby allowing you to choose exactly what you want, when you want it. 

Growing Practice: organically grown

When: Visit the Kitchen Garden's market stall at the Kingston Public Market in Springer Market Square on Thursdays and Saturdays 8:30am-3:00pm

Price: With a total of eight different arrangements to choose from, CSA price ranges from $300 (for a 12 week standard CSA) to $840 (for a 24 week grande CSA). The weekly share value for a standard CSA is about $25, while the weekly value of the grande is $35

How to Sign Up: register here

Freedom Farm

What: Each basket will include 12 oz of greens in addition to 8-10 items, from carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. to baby turnips, herbs, bok choi, and more! Check out Freedom Farm's 2014 crop list here. 

Growing Practice: organically grown

When: 18 weeks from mid-June through mid-October, pick up at the farm or have your basket delivered. 

Price: Choose from a weekly basket (18 baskets) for $600, or a bi-weekly basket (9 baskets) for $325. Sign up before March 30th and get 5% off!

How to Sign Up: register here

Fat Chance Farmstead

What: The Fat Chance CSA is centred upon five key elements: bread, veggies, fruit, mushrooms, and something sweet. Each week, CSA'ers get to sink their teeth into freshly baked spelt bread made with spelt grown in Inverary. Fat Chance farm offers more than 30 kinds of veggies from the expected (tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, etc.) to the unexpected (sorrel and ground cherries for example). The farm also offers a selection of fruit, which is something of a rarity in Kingston. The CSA might include strawberries, blueberries, and melons. As if that wasn't enough to convince you - Fat Chance also runs a mushroom farm allowing the farm to include approximately 3 bags of plump shiitake mushrooms over the season. Finally, celebrate the beginning of your CSA season with a jar of smoky sweet maple syrup or honey!

Growing Practice: organically grown

When: 18 boxes in 18 weeks, pick up occurs on Tuesday's between 4:30pm and 6:30pm in the Glenburnie grocery parking lot (2454 Perth Rd at Unity Road) 

Price: $600 for the season
How to Sign Up: Registration is now open through the Google Docs form accessible here

Fare Well Farm

What: Fare Well takes the philosophy that the climate of our growing season should be respected, not extended with the use of plastics for hoop houses or tunnels. This means that their CSA might start out smaller but come to be large and bountiful through August, September, and October. The season starts out with produce such as arugula, pak choi, swiss chard, and broccoli. By mid-summer you will be enjoying produce such as tomatoes, salad turnips, snap beans, and tomatoes. Finish off the season with produce such as squash, pumpkin, radishes, potatoes and more! Check out a sample list here 

Growing Practices: Organically grown

When: 18 weeks from mid-June to Thanksgiving, pick up at the farm on Friday afternoons or at the Waldorf Mulberry School on Markland St. on Wednesday afternoons

Price: veggie lovers shares are $900 (good up to 7 people or those who LOVE veggies), full shares are $600 (good for 3-5 people), and half shares are $345 (good for 1-2 people)

How to Sign Up: sign up online here

There you have it - 11 wonderful CSAs to choose from. Get in touch with your farmer soon to sign up for the CSA that caught your eye!

Know of a CSA available to Kingston-area customers that wasn't listed here? We're sorry to have missed it, but fill everyone in on the juicy details through the comment section below!

Until next time - eat local, Kingston!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A Winter's Day at Wendy's Country Market

In the frozen chill of winter, I look for signs of life and warmth to nurture and sustain me through the season. From time to time, I indulge myself in a daydream of warm sandy beaches, scorching sun, and a fruity cocktail in hand. The same might be said of winter fare.We look for signs of freshness to lift our spirits and remind us of the brightness and flavours of summer. Conveniently, summer indulgences seem omnipresent along the grocery store shelves filled with bright coloured produce imported from California, Florida, Mexico and even as far as South Africa, Spain, Greece. 

Next time you're out grocery shopping, I challenge you to a little game - what would your cart look like if you limited yourself to products of Canada? harder yet, Ontario? 

This morning as I pulled up to Wendy's Country Market, I braced myself in anticipation of the cold air waiting for me. Yet as I exited, I was greeted the feeling of radiant sun against my face, the sounds of clucking hens in the distance - signs that even in the 'dead of winter', there is life and warmth all around me still.   

As I filled my basket, my regular 'Canada-and-better-yet-Ontario' challenge was suddenly not much of game at all. I found beats from Patchwork Gardens in Battersea, crisp greens from Burt's Greenhouses in Odessa, bright red apples from Hall's outside Brockville... just to name three examples.

For those of you not yet familiar with Wendy's Country and Mobile Market, Wendy is a huge advocate and supporter of local food - connecting local growers and producers to the Kingston community year round. I invite you to check out their website for lots more great stuff about them. A drive up to Lyndhurst is a beautiful way to get out of the city for a bit and do something different. However, Wendy's Mobile Market is a convenient option for those interested in saving themselves the drive (households should plan to get their order in by Sunday evenings for delivery to your door the following Friday). This time of year, Wendy continues to offer a wide range of produce, meats, cheeses, honey, preserves, prepared food, baked goods, flour, coffee, tea, etc., etc. all from local sources!

As the winter season continues, may your basket and belly be full with the brightly coloured produce of locally grown produce; may you be nurtured and sustained by the signs of warmth, brightness, and flavours around you. Eat local, Kingston!


by Lauren Anstey
Eat Local, Kingston! creator & blogger

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Recipe: Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Apple Salad

This past Sunday, the Memorial Farmer's Market team suggested a Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Apple Salad in a Sunday Meal Ideas Facebook post. It sounded so tasty, we figured we would test it out using ingredients from the farmer's market and local area.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Kingston Winter CSAs 2014-15

Throughout the summer, we've revelled in the Ontario summer growing season. While winter may bring lots ice, snow, and chill, it does not mean a freeze on local eating. Community Supported Agriculture or CSA programs are a great way to get a hearty dose of local food while continuing to support your local farmers through the winter season. Nothing invigorates your kitchen quite like a basket full of good food throughout the darker, colder days of the year.

Here's the low-down many of the Winter CSAs available to Kingstonians over the 2014-15 winter season. Be sure to get signed up for your chosen CSA soon to avoid disappointment as the lists fill up fast.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Local Thanksgiving Challenge

This Thanksgiving, take up the Local Thanksgiving Challenge and commit to bringing locally-sourced ingredients to the table! Whether its one dish or the whole meal, your tastebuds will be guaranteed a treat. Here's a few ways you can fill your fridge with local goodness just in time for this weekend's big feast: