Market Highlight | Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

  An example of a large family share from on our of local CSA programs (minus the popcorn and honey!)

An example of a large family share from on our of local CSA programs (minus the popcorn and honey!)

If you like to support local, you may have already heard of Community Supported Agriculture programs. These programs are popping up all across Canada and provide a great way for you to connect with your farmer. 

Community Supported Agriculture is based on a shared risk strategy. As a consumer, you buy into a CSA program with a specific farm or organization at the beginning of the season. This lump sum of fiscal capital allows the Farmer to purchase required inputs, equipment etc. You then pick up a weekly or bi-weekly box of produce from that farm. By pre-purchasing your vegetables and fruit, you agree to share the risks of the agriculture industry with your Farmer. 

The agriculture industry is a very volatile one; disease, extreme weather events, high cost of production and more can severely impact a farm's ability to produce. Regardless of these risks, at market, and wholesale prices do not change to compensate for a poor yield. CSA programs help to mitigate this risk and ensure that the Farmer gets paid a proper wage for their hard work. 

There is a wide range of CSA models- from a standard box of available vegetables, to ones with a bit more choice allowing you to select certain products you prefer. Regardless of the model, these programs allow you to access high quality, local products on a weekly basis with minimal effort. This is a great choice for households of all sizes as many farms now offer small and large box options. 

CSA's are a flexible, convenient way to support your local producers and GET TO KNOW YOUR GROWER!

There are currently three CSA programs operating out of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers' Market for the indoor season. Explore the links below and choose a farm or model that works best for you and your family! 

YYC Growers
https://www.yycgrowers.com/yyc-metro-growers/calgarys-most-local-csa/summer-harvest-box-csa/

Eagle Creek
https://www.eaglecreekfarms.ca/?page_id=1277

Noble Gardens
https://www.noblegardenscsa.com/new-share-program-2018.html

Recipe Highlight | Pumpkin Spice Latte

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It is time to accept fall- and that means jumping on the Pumpkin Spice Latte train! Here is our recipe for a fresh, local take on this trendy fall season staple. Use your market haul to impress your friends with how relevant, and DIY savvy you are! This is also a great one to use up your leftover pumpkin puree from your pie or ravioli recipe.

Ingredients:
2 c. milk
1/4 c. pumpkin puree (sugar pumpkins are best!)
2 tbsp Honey
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. hot espresso or dark roast coffee
1/2 whipped cream (optional)
2 tbsp caramel ice cream topping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Roast pumpkin in oven at 400 degrees for 35-45 mins until soft (cut in half; place flat half down on baking sheet; coat in oil; it is done when a fork can be stuck easily into it)

  2. Mash pumpkin and set aside 1/4 c. - save the rest for a pumpkin pie or pumpkin ravioli!

  3. Heat milk, pumpkin puree, honey and spices in a saucepan over medium low heat for approximately 5 mins or until hot (but not boiling!). Stir often to combine and keep from burning!

  4. Remove from heat and whisk vigorously until it is foamy.

  5. Pour coffee or espresso into two large mugs and add foamed milk.

  6. Add whipped cream and caramel topping if desired!

Fresh Food Basket | Summer Fundraiser 2018

The Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association Fresh Food Basket Program provides an anonymous, dignified and sustainable strategy to improving access to good, healthy food. We see an average of 60 families weekly, distributing over 350 portions of fresh food each week. Our donations come from a variety of sources including local food organizations and businesses, local Farmers and community gardeners, and individuals. Though we hope to source all the required food from these channels, often we need to supplement our portions by shopping at our local grocery stores. Although it is not ideal, we recognize the importance of having a reliable program, and seek to provide the same level of support week after week. 

This program does not seek to solve food insecurity. Poverty and the inaccessibility of our food systems are complex issues, and cannot be solved with basic needs programming. However, we hope that this program allows the families that access it to feel more at ease about where their groceries will be coming from, and allows us to make connections with participants and offer support in other areas. The Fresh Food Basket is a first step in community engagement. When basic needs are met, vulnerability decreases, and we see an increase in the ability to create connection and participate in community. 

Moving forward, we hope to depend less and less on donations, and hope to see an uptake of this style of program across other communities in Calgary. This program is one that requires little infrastructure to start-up, but provides a highly valuable service to our community. 

This summer we have seen an increase in food donations from our Farmers' Market vendors, and have received many donations from community members! 
Here are some updates from the current Summer Fundraiser:

$250 from the Sun Fun Summer Program Bake Sales
$530 from Community Members like YOU
Weekly donations of lettuce, spinach, chard, rhubarb and herbs from St. Barnabus Community Garden
One-time donation of greens from the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Garden
Frequent donations of greens, peas and zucchinis from Kensington First Community Garden
Frequent donations of chard, kale, beans, peas and beets from the Sunnyside Shared Garden


We are currently accepting monetary donations for our Summer Fundraising Campaign. The Sun Fun Summer Program baking club will also be at market throughout August selling their baked goods to raise funds- add an extra buck or two to your purchase to receive a ballot for the 'World Tour' Gift Basket.

If you donate AT MARKET, you will be entered to win our Farmers' Market 'World Tour' Gift Basket. This basket with donations from each of our vendors, is worth almost $500! Donate multiple weeks to get more entries. The basket winner will be chose at the END OF AUGUST, so you only have 3 more weeks to donate for your chance to win. 

If you require more information about this program, please contact Heather at heather.r@hsca.ca