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Whidbey Island Conservation district starting fresh produce program for Oak Harbor
The Whidbey Island Conservation District is coordinating a new program to provide residents on the north end of the island with the area’s freshest produce.
The conservation district, based in Coupeville, is working with five Whidbey Island farms to provide a community supported agriculture program for residents in Oak Harbor and surrounding areas.
Sarah Cassatt, public information and resource planner for the Whidbey Island Conservation District, said Oak Harbor doesn’t have the accessibility of Whidbey Island grown produce as other parts of the island.
She said she doesn’t know of any CSA programs running on North Whidbey, and the Oak Harbor Public Market, which takes place on Highway 20 next to the Chamber of Commerce, provides less fresh produce than other farmers markets in the area.
To participate in a CSA program, people purchase a share.
That share means they will receive a bag of produce each week for a set number of weeks.
For the North Whidbey CSA, it costs $260 for a 10-week period, which Cassatt said is a shorter period of time than a typical CSA program. A military discount is available.
“It gives people a nice opportunity to try it out,” Cassatt said.
To get the new CSA off the ground, Cassatt said the conservation district received a $17,600 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Cooperative Development that was administered through the Northwest Agriculture Business Center.
The funds pay for a coordinator position, website development and efforts to expand markets for Whidbey farms. The goal of the project is to make it self-supporting in one-to-two years.
The North Whidbey CSA will make its first delivery Thursday, July 11 at the Oak Harbor Public Market, which takes place 4-7 p.m.
Cassett is looking for people to subscribe to the CSA that has 25 shares.
For more information, or to purchase a share, go to www.northwhidbeycsa.com or call 360-675-4708.