Grass-fed meats available through CSA
ENTERPRISE — Backyard Gardens and 6 Ranch join forces this season to offer Wallowa Valley grass-fed meat to Backyard Gardens’ vegetable share members.
Members who receive their weekly vegetables will have the option to receive a monthly supply of locally raised grass-fed beef, pork, and lamb distributed through 6 Ranch.
Adele Nash of 6 Ranch said, “I’m really excited to have this happening. This is an affordable way for local residents to purchase high quality, local meats.”
Backyard Gardens will resume its popular community-supported agriculture, or CSA, program for residents of Wallowa and Union counties in June. People who sign up will receive a box of fresh, homegrown vegetables each week throughout the 22-week growing season.
Backyard Gardens, located in Joseph, began its community-supported agriculture program in 2008 and is owned by Beth Gibans. She said CSAs are a way to encourage local agriculture by paying the farmer up front to grow produce or meat for customers throughout the season. In exchange, members receive a box of fresh, seasonal produce each week, or month as is the case with the meat.
Produce is delivered to locations in Enterprise and Joseph, and can also be sent to Wallowa and Union County on the Community Connection shuttle.
Gibans has been growing vegetables in Wallowa County since 2002 and is a founding member of the Wallowa County Farmers’ Market. She also sells her produce to several area restaurants and stores.
Gibans started the CSA program as a way to expand her business and make her vegetables available to the community in a new way.
There are two share sizes from which to choose; a full share and a half share. Each full share box should feed about two to four people depending on appetites. A half share will feed one to two people. Gibans also offers a farmers market CSA. Through that program, people who pay up front will get credit to buy produce at a discount either at the farmers market or through weekly email orders.
The meat CSA costs $125 per month for five months or $140 per month if you pay month-to-month.
“A CSA is a great way for farmers and eaters to support each other,” said Gibans. “We love sharing the bounty with our customers, and they are thrilled with the variety and freshness of what’s in season.”
The CSA is ideal for people who like to cook and enjoy being creative with a variety of seasonal produce. It’s also a better value than buying produce each week at the market.
People who sign up for weekly deliveries also get the added benefit of receiving their produce and meat without having to go shopping.
“Opening the box each week is a real pleasure which usually includes snacking on something right out of the box, immediately incorporating other veggies into that night’s dinner, and putting away the rest for use over the following week,” says CSA member Adele Buttolph. “The CSA program feels like a bountiful produce oasis.”
The cost of veggie membership averages out to about $22 per week for the full share, $15 per week for the half share. Vegetables include salad mix, spinach, broccoli, beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, basil, peppers, zucchini and winter squash. The variety and quantity of the produce increases as the season progresses.
A weekly newsletter, recipe suggestions and tips for preserving produce are also included. Weekly shares of salad mix and cut flowers are also available.