Fresh crops support community
By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
June 9, 2009 · 1:57 PM
With the weather heating up and the sun shining, students involved in the new Community Supported Agriculture program are harvesting the first round of crops that will be given to shareholders and sold at nearby markets.
They’re harvesting a variety of green vegetables which are divided between the 50 or so people who purchased a share in the training center’s CSA program.
“The interns are thrilled,” said Anza Muenchow, program coordinator at the Greenbank Farm. The greenhorn farmers are also selling their goods to patrons of the weekly Sunday Market at the farm.
The trainees are learning farming basics by growing crops on several acres of land at the Greenbank Farm.
Muenchow said that the interns recently expanded the irrigation system and are growing tomatoes, corn and other vegetables.
“They’re working really hard,” she said.
The Community Supported Agriculture training center started operating in January and seven students comprise its first class. They are working an entire growing season from tilling the land to selling their crops at a market. The program is a partnership between the Greenbank Farm, the Port of Coupeville and the Northwest Agriculture Business Center.
The CSA has sold 55 shares. Shareholders are entitled to two grocery bags of produce each week for 20 weeks. Local food banks have also benefited from the interns’ efforts. The Port of Coupeville, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation along with four other shares went to Gifts from the Heart in Coupeville and Good Cheer Food Bank in Bayview, Muenchow said.
The CSA is still selling shares. Now that interns are harvesting crops, the shares will be sold on a pro-rated basis.
In the meantime, crops are still sprouting. Three kinds of peas, onions, bok choy and cucumbers will be just some of the produce available from the training program at the Greenbank Farm.Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Nathan Whalen at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5058.