Thursday, July 09, 2009

Investing in a farmer's crop

While the granddotter and I were examining the dragon and Tree of Life sculpts behind Prescott Coffee Roasters on Tuesday, another group of people nearby were picking up their week's supply of produce from Whipstone Farms at the table below.

Whipstone is one of two Comunity Supported Agriculture farms in the Prescott area; the other, Wolfberry Farm, is operated by Prescott College. In essense, the customers of a CSA farm pay a fixed sum at the beginning of the farm season and in turn collect fruits, veggies and even flowers on a weekly basis as the goodies are harvested. A neat idea, I'd say, with consumers and the farmer sharing both the risks and the bounty (and farming has always been a risky business -- something that we city dwellers have long forgotten).

How it operates, according to the Whipstone web site: Available shares for the 2009 season are limited to 60. The cost of a share is $500 for the season (or approximately $20 a week over an estimated 26 weeks). A share should provide most of the produce required by a family of four. Whipstone also sells at the Flagstaff and Prescott farmers' markets and to some local restaurants.

In case you are into such things, the foods are Certified Naturally Grown, which basically means organic but missing the USDA paperwork required to carry the organic label. Me? I'm more interested in the simple fact of locally grown produce, which means F*L*A*V*O*R on my plate. (Speaking of which, my neighbor's tomatoes are producing and our taste buds are ODing on the tang that only homegrown fruit produce.)

A nice finishing touch -- Whipstone's Shanti Rade also grows flowers, which are also part of the weekly package. This week, it was sunflowers and glads.


steve said...

Interesting concept. Wouldn't work out for a one or two person family.

Anonymous said...

You have to try out their Chilepeno Peppers.

Granny J said...

steve -- what you do in that case is get a partner & split the cost & the goods.

style -- sounds good, IF you're into H*O*T, which I'm not.tggggf6

azlaydey said...

I agree Steve. I'd love to have their fresh veggies instead of buying the tasteless ones in the supermarket, but it's only me and I don't want to waste good food. Maybe they can make a deal for us single folks in the future.

Anonymous said...

Granny you should try the chilepeno pepper, it isn't that searing hot. It's a hybrid Hungarian pepper thats big like a Hatch chile. For the record, his Jalepenos from last year were the hottest!

Anonymous said...

We have CSAs near us on the Left Coast, and I'd like to get some neighbors to go in with us on some shares.

Thanks for promoting the Prescott-area CSAs! Maybe, via your blog, you can help one- or two-person households in your area to get together and "co-op" a share?

Our backyard tomatoes are ripening, and we just finished our first batch of salsa. WOW!

Nothing like home-grown tomatoes.

~Anon in AV.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that agriculture is even a land-use option in the Prescott area. If a large family needs a house-lot-sized patch of ground for a garden, and if the lot could otherwise be sold for $200,000, doesn't that make for expensive agriculture?

Kate said...

I've done this and it is great on so many levels. I show up at the Farmer's Market and am handed a box with my name on the side filled with all sorts of stuff I might never buy. Encourages me to get creative in the kitchen. :))

Granny J said...

lady -- do you shop the farmers' market in Chino in the summer?

style -- does he grow habeneros?

anon av -- the flavor of home-grown tomatoes can be so intense that it is almost too much flavor!

boonie -- nobody farms in Prescott; however, Chino Valley about 30 miles north of town was always an ag center, though there aren't that many truck gardens there these days. Both the CSA farms are in Chino.

kate -- my impresion has been that at the start of the season, one can get pretty tired of greens of various sorts -- but the variety the other day was quite nice.

Anonymous said...

Granny, no habeneros last year. Habenereos have a long season with little output, so they are not a good idea. I found habeneros from other farmers though.

Granny J said...

style -- do you make your own salsa?

Meggie said...

Loved seeing all that produce. Also love the sunflowers.

Granny J said...

meggie -- to tell the truth, I much prefer those beautiful berries in the other post to veggies, no matter how photogenic they are.

Photo Blog Blog Top Sites Blog Directory for Prescott, AZ

Local Blogs - Blog Top Sites