Heart of the Sun Offerings …

 

 

 

Jessie's Cosmic Garden: 'Top Picks' CSA

The CSA 'Fruits and Nuts' Club

Overview of Our Aims: Our CSA needs to expand in membership and sourcing. We are unable to bring most fruits and nuts over the border from Oregon but have plentiful supplies from our region in Northern California. We will engage the farmers at the Chico Farmer's Market to provide four seasonal special order Saturdays, not for veggies, as we love what we get from our Oregon farmers (except to say that a few rarer veggies like early tomatoes and asparagus might be nice), but for fruits, nuts and specialty items like olives, olive oils, ghee, almond butters and so forth.

Club Membership: All CSA subscription holders are eligible for free membership in the F&N Club, however each of the four orders must be paid for using PMA deposits to cover the orders. They cannot be taken out of your subscription. If you want to participate, you do need to officially join, pledging, in that way, to support this outreach to enrich our local food sequestering efforts. You'll need to set up your account before the first order. Guest membership will come with a surcharge of $25 per order.

We need to reach a group order total of $800 and individual minimum order of $50 to afford to make the run to Chico. A typical market day in high season for us has been over $1000 for comparison. So these are stock up days, sometimes for many months before particular items come on sale in season again. For example, July is time to buy blueberries by the flat or 5# bags for jams and winter frozen berries - that's what Pennington's is doing with their own berries to have pie filling and frozen smoothie berries in the winter.

What to expect: We have chosen the following dates and estimated produce varieties. Except for the first date, these might change a little bit to include an otherwise out-of-season item, like needing to be a little earlier in July to reach blueberry peak season. The dates have been chosen following the Chico Farmer's Market chart of available produce but season to season can vary a bit. As an order date nears, prices will be researched by phone or email when possible (might be impossible with strawberry farmers like Lee but we'll try) and an order form will appear in the place of each of these seasonal lists. Then you place your order and we can contact the farmers to have the produce at market for us. Last minute orders and changes will be frowned upon as it really throws us off.

I can assure you we'll get better prices on berries than we do in OR but we will continue to list those berries to fill in week to week. We will also find some bulk prices for fruit seconds and if we have good membership ($ in the coffers) we can buy up cases of some storable items, like chocolate almond butter or honey, to get a discount. We are aiming for organic produce, certified or not, and will note which items we can only obtain from conventional growers.

May 13, 2017: Expected Available Produce: Fruit — Blueberries, Strawberries, Peaches, Cherries, Blackberries, and maybe Apricots and Figs. In addition we hope to get these nuts and staples: Ghee, Olive Oil, Kalamata Olives, Almonds (not in season but might have stored nuts and butters, like chocolate almond butter), Massa brown rice, Honey, Chico Chai. May also have stored walnuts on sale though not in season.

July 13, 2017: Expected Available Produce: Fruit — Pluots, Plums, Peaches, Nectarines, Melons, Cherries, Blackberries, Apricots, Figs and maybe early Apples (though likely not Organic). The sames goes for the staples but might expand after we've been to the May market talking to growers and vendors.

October 15, 2017: We're electing not to go South when we are having peak season in Oregon - and all fruits/nuts seem to overlap anyway - besides the heat, yikes! Fruits – Apples, Kiwi, Persimmons, Pears, Plums, Pomegranates, Valencia Oranges. This is nut season: Almonds, Pecans, Pistacios and Walnuts. Plus all staples and Pyramid Carrots (a LCG favorite).

December 30th 2017: this date may slide into January as we are back at Grants Pass Market in November on Saturdays and Chico Market might be closed on the 30th so a tentative date right now. Fruit – Apples, Mandarins, Kiwis, Persimmons, Navel Oranges, Pomegranates, Grapefruit, Lemons, Limes, Tangelos. Nuts  Almonds, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts. The usual staples. Thanks to our mountain weather, garages, basements and cool enclosed porches can handle the citrus in 10# bags and more. We may also supplement salad greens and kales if our Northern Growers are short and could find Pyramid Carrots still on the table.

March 2018: a tentative order for the end of citrus, staples and probably avocados.

Taking Action: If you are up for this adventure, sign up by emailing the CSA. We'll ask for $ after the first market is posted for orders. Hope you like this new adventure and tell all your friends that the CSA has just stepped up to meet their needs so Spring Season, starting April 6th will be a really great time to subscribe for a box and join the 'Fruits and Nuts' Club. We will service non-members with a $25/order fee. You can pass that on too.

 

 

 

Stumped? Email: TopPicksCSA@heartofthesun.com

Text 530-355-8624