The Place: All across Nova Scotia
The Treasure: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
This Nova Scotia Treasures entry is going to be a little different in that it’s not about a specific place. It’s about a service that’s relatively new to Nova Scotia – CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture.
This article will be about our experiences with the two CSAs we joined. One through TapRoot Farms and the other through Off The Hook (which is a CSF for fishery).
We joined the TapRoot Farms’ CSA after hearing about it from a friend. We’ve been working hard at buying local and not supporting things that are unsustainable or destructive – industrial farming is high on the list of do not support for us.
TapRoot Farms’ CSA is made up of a couple of farms that all put in some produce to make up your boxes of food. We decided to go in whole hog, doing the 52 week full share options of fruits, veggies and meat.
Naturally it started off a bit slow because it wasn’t harvest season and we were basically getting winter crops but once it started getting to harvest time – WOW. There’s just the two of us and most weeks it’s too much food, which is a nice problem to have. The fridge always looks great and when it’s filled we hand off some of the extra food. One of the things we really like about the TapRoot CSA is they try to include new and interesting foods – lemon boy cucumber anyone?
Best of all the food is high quality and fresh.
Check out their site and a weekly shares list here: TapRoot Farms
The other CSA we joined is a CSF – Community Supported Fishing. Off The Hook catches fish by hook and line, the way it should be done. It’s more environmentally friendly and miles better than drag netting or similar methods. With Off The Hook you get one of three types of fish at random: Hake, haddock or cod.
Now I know some people out there say they don’t like fish and I get it, it’s not for everyone. I also believe a lot of the people that don’t like fish haven’t had well prepared fresh fish.
Fresh fish doesn’t smell like fish. In fact it has barely any smell at all. Fresh fish is also plump looking after being cooked. Every fish we’ve gotten from Off The Hook through their CSA has come out thick and juicy even after cooking. In fact it’s thicker and more full looking after being cooked than pretty much all of the store bought offerings before cooking. I’ve almost always found store bought to be dry and crumbly once it was cooked.
Now, you may be asking: What’s our definition of fresh?
How about caught and to you the next day?
Ya, that’s fresh. 🙂
Check out Off The Hook here: Off The Hook
Both TapRoot and Off The Hook do an excellent job of emailing out updates and happenings which is always appreciated. I also enjoy the candid and personable writing that they use. If something’s on their mind they say it.
Combined with buying meat from several local farmers (oh yes, there will be NST entries about the farmers too!), these two CSA/CSF’s fill out our diet nicely and we go to the big stores less and less.
We also like knowing the money we spend stays at home and that we can actually talk to the people growing or catching our food. Farmers and fishermen will have a steadier income for it and I would assume make more (for roughly the same cost to you) than if they sold through stores.
CSAs are all over the place. There’s a lot more of them in the province than we ever imagined. Our experience with Taproot and Off the Hook was so good we decided to see what else is out there and who else was doing it. I will try to get links to some up soon, won’t play favourites – just any I can find that appear to be still running.
Talk to the people running them, ask if you can visit their farm if you want to, see if the way they do their craft suits you, and if it does – sign up.
-Steph and John