Delivering produce to the front door

Written by Observer staff April 02, 2014 07:23 am

Wallowa County community-supported agriculture returns for sixth year

Backyard Gardens is bringing back its popular community-supported agriculture program for Wallowa and Union counties in June. 

Customers receive a box of fresh, homegrown vegetables each week throughout the 22-week growing season. Produce is delivered to locations in Enterprise and Joseph and can also be sent to the city of Wallowa and to Union County on the Community Connection shuttle. 

There are two share sizes — 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. 

Farmer Beth Gibans, owner of Backyard Gardens, also offers a farmers’ market program where people who pay up front will get credit to buy produce at a discount either at the farmers’ market or through weekly email orders.

Gibans has grown 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 produce delivery program as a way to expand her business and make her vegetables available to the community in a new way.

This year, Gibans has additional growing space in her new hoop house, which was partially funded with a grant from Natural Resource Conservation Service. 

“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 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,” said member Adele Buttolph. “The program feels like a bountiful produce oasis.”

The cost of 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.

For more information, or to sign up for one of the Backyard Gardens CSAs, email Gibans at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , sign up online at www.backyardgardensjoseph.com or call her at 541-398-0707.