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Introducing Our ‘Garden Surplus to Table’ Program

Connecting Local Gardeners & Small-Scale Growers with their Community ~ Fostering Food Security & Access to Fresh Foods ~ Reducing Food Waste ~ Reducing Emissions

Creating a Local Food Movement

The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small-scale, in our own gardens. If only 10 percent of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” 

~Bill Mollison, Founder of Permaculture

Garden Surplus to Table (14)

Keeping It Local and Affordable

Calling All Backyard Gardeners in Crofton and surrounding area…Did you grow more than you can use? We will be happy to take it off your hands…

 

We are launching our Summer Season Garden Surplus to Table Program where we connect backyard gardeners and small-scale growers with their local community.

The idea of a ‘garden surplus to table’ program came from various conversations with backyard and community gardeners as well as neighbours and local organizations over the last year.We are lucky to live in an area with a high number of Green Thumbs who produce so much food that they often have a surplus. These gardeners want to see their surplus go to good use.

We believe that such a program will connect this local food abundance with those in our community who need it and/or want it. It will also give something back to the gardeners as a way to encourage more local food production.

 

Our mission is to help stimulate and support the local food movement by supporting local growers AND providing easy, affordable access to fresh, local food in the community.

Creating access to fresh, local produce improves local food security. A ‘garden surplus to table’ program provides local, fresh foods directly to the local community at affordable prices, reduces food waste and carbon emissions.

This program also supports local backyard gardeners and small-scale growers by turning their surplus produce into profit.

 

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How It Works

  1. Contact us & Let us know you are interested in participating in the Garden Surplus to Table program in Crofton/Duncan/North Cowichan, BC area.
  2. We pick up your surplus (garden produce you do not want or need)
  3. We sell your extra food directly to the local community at low-cost
  4. Participating Gardeners and Growers receive 50 percent of proceeds from the sale of their surplus (maybe to buy more seeds and grow-a-row for the community)

 

Possible Food Resources Right in Your Backyard

  • Fruit trees, shrubs (even those deemed ornamental but with edible fruit)
  • Your Garden – do you grow tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, radishes, kale, greens, strawberries, currants, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, fennel, onions, garlic, etc?
  • Culinary herbs such as mint, oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram, parsley, chives, etc.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I sign up?

Please sign up by contacting us and letting us know you are interested in participating. We will contact you within 24 hours to determine what produce you may have available.  You must sign up in order to participate in the program. Don’t worry, it won’t take long to sign up. We may ask to meet you in your garden and chat briefly about what you grow and when it may be available to pick up.

 

2. Do you accept fallen or bruised fruit/vegetables?

Yes. Mildly bruised fruit such as apples or cherries make for great pies. Your waste could be someone’s treasure. In general, fruit and vegetables should be in good condition: ripe, not moldy, rotten, decomposing or filled with worms.

 

3. Is there a minimum amount of food?

No. There is no minimum. If you have one or two extra cucumbers to sell, you can drop them off at our Farm Stand location on Chilco Road. If you have lots of surplus from your garden, we will be happy to pick it up on a Friday or Saturday in order to get it ready for sale on Sunday.

 

4. Do you take food that has been grown with synthetic fertilizers (e.g., MiracleGrow®)?

Yes, we do. However, we encourage all participating growers to use organic growing practices – ideally no off-farm inputs. Great fruit and vegetables begin with great soil. Compost is an excellent way to improve your soil conditions. Companion planting – growing herbs such as Chamomile, Thyme, Lemon Balm and Chives alongside your vegetables –  helps to support a healthy soil microbiome and deter pests. Using Comfrey Leaves and/or Stinging Nettle Leaves to make your own simple compost tea/natural fertilizer is also well worth the effort to protect soil and grow nutrient-dense food.

An excellent book on how to create optimal, healthy soil and one that I highly recommend is Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web. This book is available at the Cowichan Library in Duncan. We always hear about healthy intestinal flora (microbes) and how important it is to our overall health. It is the same thing with soil. Healthy microbes equal healthy soil.

This book is a beautifully written (not boring) primer on Soil Microbiology and sheds light on how we are inextricably linked to the health of this fragile ecosystem we take for granted.

Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition

5. What do you NOT accept?

We do not accept any foods grown near driveways, roadsides or where herbicides or pesticides may have been applied.

We also do not accept foods grown near any area that has been sprayed with ‘demossing’ agents or ‘RoundUp®’ type agents.

We strongly encourage participating growers to use environmentally sound means of eradicating ‘weeds’. The following natural formula is an excellent herbicide for your garden, driveway, or curbside:

1 gallon of white vinegar

2 cups Epsom salts

¼ cup dish soap

Credit to Jess Yund for this formula.

 

6. Does Seedling in the Wind harvest the fruit/vegetables from my garden?

No. We currently do not glean or harvest from gardens.

 

7. Where do you sell the food?

Your surplus garden produce will be sold on Sundays during the growing season at the Corner of Chaplin and Queen Streets, right beside the BC Ferries Salt Spring Island Ferry Terminal 

Pop Up Farm Stand Sales take place every Sunday, 10 am to 12pm, during the Summer/Early Fall at the Corner of Queen and Chaplin Streets (by the Salt Spring Ferry Terminal in Crofton).

 

8. How long is the program?

This is our first season and we will run this program from July 1 to September 16.

 

9. What do you do with the profit from sales?

Although we try to keep our operating costs to a minimum, we do need to cover the cost of gasoline. We may hire local students to help with preparation for market or to assist with the market.

 

10. Can my business buy the surplus food?

The redistribution of surplus food is intended to improve food security and access to fresh, local foods in the local community.

 

11. What happens to the food that is not sold?

Our aim is to sell all the food. However, should there be food left over, the grower has a choice: 1) food is returned to the grower OR 2) the grower allows us to donate food to local families or the food bank.

 

12. Do you accepts surplus food from backyard and small-scale growers only?

We take surplus food from local backyard gardeners and small-scale growers (orchards, small-scale farms) as a way to support and promote local growers. We continually work on expanding relationships with local growers and welcome those who wish to support the local food movement.

 

13. Who sets the Price at the Pop Up Market?

We set the price. Our goal is to strike a balance between keeping prices reasonable and accessible and making sure our contributors are fairly compensated.

 

~Grow~Share~Thrive~

 

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