Students can now pick up a fresh box of organic, local produce without ever leaving campus.
Under UCSB’s new Community Supported Agriculture Program, a local farmer will now deliver produce to the university every Thursday. Customers can place an order for a box of fruits and veggies that contains 10 to 12 organic items for $30.
The produce, which is picked every Wednesday and dropped off at the Mosher Alumni House the next day, is delivered in reusable containers and participants are encouraged to compost the leftovers.
The program debuted last week and Campus Sustainability Coordinator Katie Maynard – who organized the program with Housing and Residential Services staff member Daniel Laub – said the CSA program already has 26 customers and another 55 individuals who have expressed interest.
Although the program is documented and approved by the campus, it is entirely staffed by volunteers and does not receive outside funding. However, according to Maynard, access to fresh and organic fruits and vegetables is worth the effort.
“The flavor of organic food is much more rich and complex than food that’s been shipped long distances to get to your plate.” Maynard said. “It’s been a real labor of love.”
Laub has worked with John Givens, a local farmer and contributor to the CSA program, for the past ten years through local farmer’s markets. Givens ships in minerals and fertilizer from across the country to cultivate soil ideally for his crops. Laub said he was able to convince Givens to set aside some land for the CSA program only recently.
“John Givens’ produce is the benchmark of what fresh, vibrant, healthy food should be,” Laud said in a press release. “He has been building his soil for more than 30 years and the tilth of the soil is so rich that plants are able to reach their full nutrient potential.”
Maynard said the new program helps unite the campus with the local agricultural community,
“They get to know who their farmer is, what’s being grown each season,” Maynard said. “[It] helps reconnect community members to the farmer.”
To order a subscription, contact Maynard or Laub at firstname.lastname@example.org.