The Grist Mill and Gardens Historic Site is pleased to announce the launch of a brand-new “Pantry Share” program inspired by the popularity of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives.
C.S.A. is a program of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters. It links people directly with their source of food, providing them with the most fresh, sustainably produced food; it gives farmers a source of income at their time of highest expense (early spring). Shareholders purchase a share in the season’s harvest and receive a weekly package of food.
– Farm Folk City Folk Website [link]
Instead of fruit and vegetables, which are the most common form of CSA, the Grist Mill will be launching the first dedicated preserves-oriented program in the Province of BC.
“Our heritage site is in the middle of one of the most productive agricultural areas of the province and our kitchen has developed a reputation for the unique products we make from the bounty of our own property, as well as our Similkameen neighbours,” says Chris Mathieson, the General Manager of the Grist Mill and Gardens Historic Site. “This Pantry Share program allows the community to support our heritage crop work on site while getting a variety of delicious, unique products for their pantry.
Interested members of the community sign up for for their share before the season and that money is used to invest in the site’s gardens, contract local farmers for a portion of their crop, buy jars and other ingredients. Then, as local fruit, veggies and flowers come into season, they’re turned into preserves. Depending on where shareholders live, there will be a number of pick-up opportunities through the season.
Share range in price from $200 to $400 each, depending on the volume of product the member wishes to receive through the season and early-bird prices are available only until February 28, 2018. Only fifty shares will be available for the 2018 season.
Benefits for shareholders include a pantry full of products made from peak-of-the-season ingredients, many of which may be unfamiliar to the average person. Shareholders also get a discount from our retail prices, access to exclusive small-batch products and have the opportunity to support the preservation of agricultural heritage and small local farmers.
“Getting the money before the season allows us to properly invest in our own gardens and contract with local farmers to grow and harvest exactly what we need while they’re still planning for their season” Says Chris Mathieson. “It reduces their costs (and stress level) and helps us make sure we get exactly what we need, when we need it. Best of all, we aim to be as transparent as we can about the farmers we’re working with and the positive impact our pantry share has on their operation.”
For more information, or to sign up for a share, visit their website at http://www.oldgristmill.ca/csa/.