YYC Growers – Summer Harvest Box CSA Program

Just one of the many items you'll receive in our Harvest Box.Sweet carrots, juicy tomatoes, vibrant salad mix harvested that morning in Calgary - those are the veggies you want in your fridge! So why settle for Grocery store Produce? The YYC Growers' Harvest Box CSA Program gives you fresh, local, ethical veg every week at a convenient pick-up location so you can stop worrying about what's in your food, who harvested it, and whether it'll taste good! 16 Week Harvest Boxes On Sale Buy a YYC Growers' Harvest Box and get 16 or 25 weeks of Fresh vegetables grown by all your favorite local farmers.

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Green Onions, another item you'll receive on a regular basisYYC Growers' Harvest Box is a unique CSA program  to Calgary. We draw from 16 farm owners, who grow in and around Calgary, that produce a diverse medley of vegetables. By drawing from 16 different farms, our customers are protected from typical risks associated with CSA programs.  In addition, this system means the YYC Growers’ Harvest Box offers customers much more variety than they would typically get in a box program. This is one of the most local CSA style programs in Calgary.

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Harvest Box Frequently Asked Questions

CSA stands for either Community Shared Agriculture or Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a close partnership between farms and end consumers. The Alberta Department of Agriculture defines it as this:

Community Supported Agriculture or Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) is a community of individuals or families who support a chosen farm and its family. Each individual or family purchases, in advance, a share, called a subscription, of the year’s crop. Thus, the customers become virtual partners or ‘co-producers’ in the farm, sharing risk and reward with the farm family. Throughout the growing season, each week subscribing member receives equal shares of the freshly harvested food from the farmer.
Alberta Agriculture

The 25 week season is a pilot that we're trialing this year. We have a solid cap on this due to the limitations of spring production in Alberta. Such an extended CSA season is something that's never been done before in Alberta, so we'll be looking for your feedback through surveys etc. to make it the best we can. All our harvest box customers are amazing, but this program is best suited for those with a more adventurous spirit!

If you don't want to commit to the 25 week season, our 16 week season will still be available to you! No hard feelings.

So, if you want to be part of a fun adventure with us this season and have your local veggies for a few weeks more, please consider the 25 week program.

The YYC Grower’s Harvest Box is a subscription based program. Preseason payment means farms can cover up front basic costs needed for a growing season like seed, irrigation and labour. It's a commitment on both the farm side as well as the customer side.

The Family share is $44 a week and the Couples share is $27.50 a week. There is a one time fee of $5 that gets you a YYC Growers and Distributors bag on your first delivery.

Typical Late Summer CSA

Spring items may include: Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Kale, Honey, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Peashoots, Sunflower Shoots, Spinach, Herbs, Chard, Asparagus.

Summer Items may include all of the above plus: Beets, Parsnips, Carrots, Radish, Lettuce, Cabbage, Mustard Greens, Bok Choy, Rhubarb, Garlic, Basil, Green Onions, Arugula, Radicchio, Endive, Saskatoons, Kohlrabi, Zucchini, Winter Squash, Pumpkins, Onions, Peas, Beans, Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Turnips, Corn, Dill, Pickling Cucumbers, Horseradish, Collards, Sunchokes, Brussels Sprouts, and possibly other items as well.

25 week shares - Spring portion (9 deliveries) from May-June will be 6-7 items per couples share and double for the family, Summer portion (16 deliveries) will be 7-8 items for a couples share and double for a family share.

An item may be 1/3 pound of salad or a single squash/cucumber/bag of tomatoes.

25 Week shares available here:

Wednesday
- Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers Market
- Bowness

Thursday
- Bridgeland Market/Luke’s Drugmart
- Marda Loop/Forage

Saturday
- Market On Macleod - Shirley’s Greenhouse

16 Week shares at all of the above plus:

Tuesday
- Deerfoot Farmers market
- Cranston
- McKenzie Towne Hall

Wednesday
- Glamorgan Community Centre

Thursday
- The Commons in Ramsay
- Aspen at the Blue Door

Saturday
- Symons Valley Market - Shirley’s Greenhouse
- Market On MacLeod - Shirley’s Greenhouse
- Last Best Brewery
If you are fortunate enough to get a 25 week share, it begins the first week of May 2017. The standard 16 week share starts first week of July 2017. Our 25 week share is an attempt at running a full year CSA program. This will be the first full year program in Alberta.
We have fruit (at most locations) and coffee from Devils Head roasting so far.

More share add ons will be announced as they are confirmed (Honey, Preserves etc). Watch our site, Facebook page, or Twitter for updates to share add ons. As they are announced you’ll be able to add them on. These are items you can subscribe to on a weekly or monthly basis.
Try and get a friend, family member, or neighbour to come and pick up your share in your absence. As long as they mention your account, we will be able to find it on our checklists. If you can’t find someone, then our organization takes all the leftover shares and donates them to the Alex Seniors Centre where the food goes to seniors who can’t afford fresh vegetables. The seniors thank you for the fresh food.
Remember, this is still in the CSA style meaning if a crop failure happens you may not get that particular product in your box. We try our hardest to replace items and if you are indeed short some items, we try to make it up down the road so you won’t miss out on any of the value. If this worst case scenario happens, you may be without produce for a week or two until farms bounce back from said disaster. With the YYC Growers Harvest Box program, the overall idea is that the risk is decreased incredibly, like a well diversified farming portfolio. This creates strong farm camaraderie, where farms willingly help other farms, knowing support will be there when they need it.
We are pleased to have three payment plans.
  • Entire payment upfront
  • 2 equal payments, one due upon signup and the other due the following month
  • 4 equal payments, first due upon signup and then 3 more on the first of each following month.
We also have 2 payment method options, you can use a credit card through PayPal and automating payments moving forward this way. Or you can send an etransfer to info@yycgrowers.com.
This is a complicated and longer conversation than possible to answer in a FAQ, but here it goes. To operate as YYC Growers does--18 farms, urban and rural, using different growing practices; soil, aquaponic, hydroponic--it is not possible to operate as a certified organic operation. Though Our Family Farm is certified organic, and Eagle Creek is in the process of becoming certified, some of our members are precluded from being Organic either because they are Hydroponic or because they are Urban. As customers need to know how their food is grown, YYC Growers puts transparency first. We meet and travel to our member farms and would encourage you to do the same. We are happy to answer any questions you have in person too (come visit us at our Farmers' Market booths). YYC Growers also believes that soil health equals vegetable health and in turn, your health. We work hard to build soil by focusing on soil health through a variety of methods: no spray, no till, and adding organic matter. But all farms have different methods to do this. Organic is a big conversation, while we cannot say we are certified, we want you to know that our products are grown as sustainably and regeneratively as possible, with an eye and an ear towards continuous improvement.
We do allow for up to two weeks of vacation holds. If you put a hold on your weekly share we will double up your share the next week or two weeks. So won’t necessarily get the same vegetables as the missed week but you’ll get double the value the next week. This is a new addition this year due to your request.
Every one of our farms are owners in our Coop. In order to be a Coop member, you must be a producer. So please head over to our member page to get more information about all the farms you may get produce from and what they specialize in growing. Here is a complete list of our farmer owners and producers.
Many!
  1. Supporting Local Economy. With you supporting local farms and local business, you are in turn helping local economy. You've heard it all about how instead of helping some CEO get a new vacation home, you're helping our farmers pay for dance lessons for a daughter, extra infrastructure on the farm, etc.
  2. Sequestering carbon. Well, you are aren't directly doing it but in purchasing our harvest box you are enabling us to eliminate carbon by increasing soil health.
  3. Fresh food. For the most part, everything that is in your box was harvested the day before you receive it. Not a week before like a lot of food that comes from California or Mexico.
  4. Great value in local produce. If you are used to shopping at farmers markets you'll realize that local/organic vegetables aren't cheap. Our program makes it more affordable and convenient.
  5. Convenience. There is no shopping that happens, you just show up with your bag, fill up your bag with your share of produce and go home. No wandering around (except if you want to shop further at our farmers market locations, which we encourage), or even money changing hands.
  6. Selection. Sure, some people may not like parsnips or mushrooms so we've come up with a way to allow some selection while still allowing us to grow our large selection of vegetables for you. It's called a Trade Bin. You'll be allowed to trade up to two items each week in the trade bin.
  7. Education. You'll learn what can be grown in Calgary, when it can be grown and we will also help you with what to do with some of those stranger items. Haven't had a Kohlrabi or Salsify before? Don't worry, we always provide a recipe in the weekly email that goes out.
  8. Community building. Not only will you be rubbing elbows with the people who grow your amazing food, you'll also meet others at the pickup site and other social gatherings throughout the year that share your ethical values.

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