By Cassie Bogdan Slemmer, SW board member
One thing we all have in common: we need to get energy from food on a regular basis. The sourcing of our options for sustenance has changed over time, with our recent history showing a decline of local, small farms, and an increase in large-scale, corporate farming. The products available in many of our grocery stores may have already traveled thousands of miles before making that last leg of their journey from the store to your home. Buying local may seem more expensive, but we must remember that much of our cheap food has significant hidden or long-term costs; think of the fuel needed for transport or the lost revenue for small businesses.
One of the ways we can pursue a more sustainable lifestyle is to purchase food locally. Local food travels less, saving energy and transport costs, and the proceeds go directly into our local economy. It is much easier to know with assurance how local food was grown and tended to, as the farm is usually a brief drive away, and you may even be speaking with the farmer directly when you buy.
Joining a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a way to partner with farmers near your home. A CSA program gives a farmer a predictable market and revenue, and gives the consumer an organized “grocery run” with a variety of delicious wares, harvested with care (often less than a day prior; it’s hard to beat that level of freshness).
Below, you can get to know the farmers and organizations in our area who are organizing CSAs: regularly assembled boxes of produce and other goods for pickup in convenient locations.
Source: The aptly named Radix Farm (radix is the root word of radical and Latin for “root”) was founded in Malaga in 2015 by Deb and Graham. Deb graduated from Whitman with a biology degree and a passion for bees and small scale farming; she went on to work on organic farms across the country before starting her own. Deb and Graham have a passion for “eating at its roots” and are also using the farm to help educate students.
Products: Produce, option to add-on eggs
CSA options: Small or Full shares. Spring (4 weeks), Summer (22 weeks) and Fall (2 weeks) options.
Pickup: Weekly on Thursdays, at the farm (2753 W Malaga Rd, Malaga, WA) or in Wenatchee (local address given to those who sign up). There is also an option for pick-up at Central Washington Hospital.
Growing practices: Certified organic
You can also find Radix Farm at the Wenatchee Farmer’s Market.
Source: Rhubarb Market has a year-round supply of various goods from across North Central WA - from coffee to preserves, sauerkraut to honey. Their CSA is now sourced solely from Big Sage Organics.
Products: Produce, with an option to purchase salad greens, coffee, eggs or flowers at pick-up.
CSA options: Can opt for a Full Season (18 weeks) or half season, picking up every-other week (9 weeks).
Pickup: weekly at Rhubarb Market, 10 N Wenatchee Ave, on Wednesdays or Thursdays
Growing practices: Sourcing is 99% organic
Rhubarb Market is also open year round at 10 N Wenatchee Ave.
Source: Started by Alex and Kim in Cashmere, WA and engage in sustainable farming.
Products: Produce, flowers
CSA options: Full season (22 weeks), or choose to participate in one of three 7-week seasons: Spring (May22-July3), Summer (July10-Aug21), Fall (Sept4-Oct16). For flowers, choose from a small or large share for a 13-week period.
Pickup location: Farm stand in Cashmere (Saturdays, 9am-1pm, at Pioneer & Weatherend Rd) or the Cashmere Farmers market on Sundays.
Growing practices: sustainable practices
You can also find Overwinter Farm’s wares at their farm stand in Cashmere on Saturdays 9am-1pm, located at the intersection of Pioneer Dr and Weatherend Rd, or at the Cashmere Farmers Market
Big Sage Organics
Source: Isaac and Jennifer started Big Sage in 2016 on organic family farmland in Othello, WA. Their vision was to build a farm system that could be sustainable in all senses of the word; for the land, the people working it, the long term financial viability of a business and for the community supporting it.
CSA options: Thrifty, Regular and Large Box options, from June through October.
Pickup location: Big Sage offers multiple drop sites to choose from, Othello, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, Tri-Cities, and Wenatchee.
Growing practices: WSDA Certified Organic. Isaac has a degree in Organic Ag Systems and Sustainable Soil Science. Uses sustainable growing practices such as cover cropping.
You can also find Big Sage Organics at the Wenatchee Farmer’s Market.
Source: Started in Wenatchee by Kevin and Miranda, Easley is a 2-person, bio-intensive, regenerative urban farm.
Products: Produce, with the option to add on eggs
CSA options: Half share (11 weeks) or Full share (22 weeks)
Pickup location: At the farm (1905 Mulberry Ln, Wenatchee)
Growing Practices: Follows organic principles, No-Till farming, Cover Cropping, Crop Rotation
You can also find Easley Farms at the Wenatchee Farmer’s Market.