By Alyssa Pitcher
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs from Whatcom County farms begin as early as May this year.
CSA programs allow members to purchase a seasonal share from a local farm or garden. Typically a share will include a weekly basket of fresh fruits and vegetables, but some farmers include products such as fresh eggs, meat, cheese or flowers. Everson-based Spring Time Farm, for example, is offering a weekly bouquet of in-season flowers as part of
Local farmers gain from the program by getting upfront payment while the advantage for members include weekly deliveries of fresh produce and knowledge of where and how it is grown.
Although participating in a CSA program has many benefits, it can also create a shared risk, according to localharvest.org, an online farm directory. Factors such as weather may affect the amount of produce that a farmer grows during the season, and members are typically not reimbursed if the farm yields less produce than expected.
Shares are usually purchased from farms at the beginning of the season. To participate in a CSA program, consumers must contact farmers directly.
The following farms currently deliver CSA shares to Blaine and Birch Bay. Most farms have flexible delivery or pick-up systems. Check individual websites for details.
ACME Farms + Kitchen
ACME delivers to homes in Whatcom County. Several different types and sizes of shares can be purchased online for one-time, weekly or bi-weekly deliveries.
Growing Washington’s Local Choice Food Box
A community of Washington farms participate in this CSA program together. Shares can be ordered online and picked up in both Birch Bay and Blaine. Growing Washington offers numerous types and sizes of 20-week summer season shares, as well as four-week fall season shares.
Bellingham Country Gardens
CSA membership includes 10 weeks of garden produce delivered to you plus $75 of “Farm Credit” which can be used for U-pick strawberries, pumpkins or other vegetables at the farm on Kelly Road in Bellingham.
A list of other CSA active farmers in the county can be found at communityfood.coop/participate/giving-back/