Top 6 Benefits of Community Supported Agriculture

The fields may be covered in snow, but our farmers are already busy preparing for this year’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Our CSA shareholders are investors in the fresh, local, organic food movement. By helping us pay for seeds and supplies up front, you’ll receive 20 weeks of fruits and vegetables during harvest season.

Wondering is a CSA is right for you?  Here are the Top 6  reasons to join:

  1. TASTE → Everyone should experience the high-quality flavor that comes from produce picked from a local farm. Foods shipped to Ohio from other parts of the country and world just can’t compete.
  2. VARIETY → Participating in CSA means enjoying  and learning about foods that may not be part of your typical diet. It’s a perfect way to try new recipes and break up the monotony of meal planning. 
  3. KNOWLEDGE → You’ll have a better understanding of what grows when in northeast Ohio. This will make you more in tune with how the seasons and weather align with local agriculture.
  4. ORGANIC → Our crops are grown without the use of pesticides that are harmful to our environment
  5. COST → We don’t take your whole paycheck. Crown Point’s CSA is offered at an affordable price.
  6. NO PLASTIC– Use our beautiful cloth tote (or your own boxes and bags) to be part of the solution to our plastic pollution problem. Avoiding unnecessary food packaging is one of the easiest ways to decrease consumption of this non-renewable resource. 

Ready to join the movement? If you sign up by Feb. 23 (National CSA Day), you’ll get a free tote bag. Crown Point members receive a 10 percent discount on CSA shares.

JOIN NOW

Holiday Giving: Crown Point Membership, Community Outreach

Is there someone on your gift-giving list who already has everything they need?

Maybe you have a loved one who has asked for “less stuff” this holiday season.

Perhaps you’re looking for gifts that give back or the opportunity to give someone an experience you know they will enjoy all year long. And the gift of a Crown Point membership or a donation to our First Fruits Initiative requires no gift wrapping. A membership is an especially nice gift to your friends who would like to have early bird privilege to our annual plant sale, discounts on CSA purchases, and Summer Farm and Science Camp tuition.

The First Fruits Initiative* is Crown Point’s outreach to the community.

The following are some of the good works Crown Point does through its First Fruits Initiative:

  • Donate fresh, organic produce to the Akron-Canton Regional FoodBank each year.  To date, this program has donated more than 15,000 lbs of produce.
  • Donate plants from our annual Organic Plant Sale to community and school gardens.
  • Offer scholarships to children in need each summer to attend Crown Point’s Summer Farm and Science Camp.
  • Provide educational outreach to schools about a variety of topics, such as sustainability, recycling and organic farming.

 

Donate to Crown Point’s First Fruits Initiative.

Please add in the comments section that your donation is specifically for the First Fruits Initiative.

*Crown Point derives the name First Fruits from the Bible, where the term is used in many passages. Perhaps the one that shares our view the best comes from Proverbs 3:9-10:

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

December Challenge: Green Gifts

The holiday season is a time for giving and a time for family. With a little effort and imagination, we can start giving back to the earth and instilling the values of sustainable living to our families, friends and community.

Let’s start with imaginative and creative gift wrapping.

I have a collection of heirloom wrapping paper, the kind I rescue after my family opens presents at Christmas. I carefully fold it and put it away in the attic for reuse on another occasion. My husband gets his birthday present wrapped in colorful Santa-themed paper that has a note scribbled to somebody else. And I am happier when the presents I get are wrapped in 5-year-old wrapping paper that’s been reused at least three times. It’s ironic that when I was a kid, my father’s business was to print and sell gift wrapping paper. Of course, we only ever used the misprinted paper at our household.

Lately, I have opted for using T-shirts, dish cloths, scarfs or other materials that are not disposable for wrapping gifts. The Sunday comics and brown paper from shopping bags also work. I have a banana tree in my kitchen that maybe this year will provide me with a unique, beautiful and totally green alternative to gift wrapping. For more ideas, check out these links:

http://eartheasy.com/gift_wrapping.htm

https://inhabitat.com/6-eco-friendly-gift-wrap-alternatives/

Let’s make green choices this season so we may have our White Christmas in the future. I can afford to buy gift wrap, but I choose not to because of the amount of waste it generates. The statistics for the United States are staggering.

But don’t stop with the gift wrapping. To make your holiday season greener, you can buy less and look for locally made, repurposed or upcycled gifts, which are made from recyclable or renewable materials.

Other ideas:

  • Buy a live tree. If you take good care of it and pot it, you can use it next year, or plant it outside.
  • Be mindful of Christmas lighting and decorations. Sometimes less is more. Make your own cards from recycled materials.
  • Participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count
  • Take a nature hike
  • Decorate a tree for the birds with peanut butter and seed trays with black oil sunflower seed, wild bird mixed seed and nyjer seed bells

 

 

November Challenge: Gratitude

Thanksgiving dinner! I refuse to use canned pumpkin; in fact I refuse to use pumpkin at all because there are so many more interesting and tastier squashes. Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day is spent cutting up winter squash, scooping out the seeds and roasting them with rosemary, garlic, olive oil and salt. The first smell of a wonderful feast to come. And then comes cooking the squash, either boiling or roasting it and mixing it with eggs, butter, spices and of course, our uniquely north American sweetener, real maple syrup. The abundant apples this time of the year are sitting on the basket waiting for me to sit down with a paring knife to turn them into pie, and for my daughters to steal the slices while I am not looking. Two of my favorite pies, Apple and “pumpkin,” about to be baked with ingredients sourced from our local foodshed. I am grateful for every smell, texture and pleasure derived from our food.

There is much more than food to be grateful for at our table. Our northeast Ohio climate gifts us with beautiful sugar maple trees turning bright red, and red cardinals on snowy days. It also provides the earthworm, the pollinator insects, and the very complex web of soil life providing ecological services that make life possible. These are less visible and taken for granted. Feeling grateful for the very existence of the natural world, and by the connections to nature is environmental gratitude. Environmental gratitude is defined as “[A] finely tuned propensity to notice and feel grateful for one’s surroundings on a regular basis, which generates pervasive attitudes of concern for planetary welfare and commitment to contribute ecological benefits to the extent of one’s ability.” *(Loder, 2011)

This type of gratefulness is different than that involving human interactions, as there is no one to give or to accept a specific gift or service. This did not seem to inhibit a friend of mine. On a walk with him, he saw a beautiful flower. Before he cut it, he asked permission and then thanked the plant out loud. He does sound a little crazy. Plants don’t understand English, but expressing the knowledge that this was a gift was an important lesson to me. Environmental gratitude becomes a way of appreciating, respecting nature and taking action to make it better. “Environmental gratitude is a rich and complex moral response. It can evolve from fleeting feelings into a sustaining personal and public virtue…At its most varied and familiar best, environmental gratitude permeates overall attitudes and dispositions and commits environmentally grateful people to creative thinking about environmental problems. In its most diffuse forms, environmental gratitude percolates into character and becomes a way of seeing and responding.” *(Loder, 2011)

(Loder Elizabeth, Gratitude and the Environment, 2011 The Journal of Jurisprudence)

Harvest Potluck: Best Wishes to Roni & Sam

I started working at Crown Point last year as the Assistant Farm Manager and served for the last year as the Farm Manager.  Since the transition, I have received so much support from CSA members, staff, and volunteers – reminding me that this is a community to cherish.

Over the course of two seasons, I have learned many lessons, including my favorite: “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

At this time, I have decided to continue my journey elsewhere next year.  Although a difficult decision, at age 25 I feel an itching desire to explore new land. While I begin my new job search in the conservation agriculture field, I am starting to reflect on what Crown Point has given to me over the past two seasons (aside from an endless supply of tomatoes, hot peppers, and garlic).

I have worked with numerous mentors, staff, and volunteers who have shared their years of knowledge and outlook on life with me.  I have developed patience, time-management, and a thicker skin.

Roni Pasi, Farm Manager

For you, I hope that a new farmer will bring new ideas and a fresh start to become more involved with our farming community.  In our search for a new farmer, we have seen some outstanding candidates who are well poised to lead a successful farming season next year.  I will make sure we have a smooth transition, working here until December.

The importance of local food for our economy, our environment, and our health is more important than ever.  Your support is invaluable in making Crown Point what it is.

Below is an invitation to our potluck dinner on October 24, 2017.  We will celebrate this year’s season by enjoying our harvest, thanking our volunteers, and saying our goodbyes.

Take care,
Roni

Please join us for a Harvest Pot Luck and
Farewell to farm manager Roni Pasi and intern farmer Sam Phillips
in our big, red Century Barn

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 – 5:30 p.m.

Bring a covered dish to share, your table service
and good wishes for Roni and Sam as they prepare to leave Crown Point and
embark on new adventures.

Cake, cider and coffee will be provided, but feel free to bring
your own favorite beverage as well.

Reservations are needed.
RSVP to Lori or Ellen at 330-668-8992 orellen@crownpt.org