Community Supported Agriculture
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a food distribution system that enables food lovers to support local agriculture while supporting small-scale farmers’ financial security. Booker T. Whatley - a Black horticulturist, author, and professor of agriculture introduced the concept in the 1960s as a solution for struggling Black farmers, but his contribution to modern agriculture has long been excluded from the dominant narrative.
In the CSA model, a consumer typically buys in at the beginning of the growing season, providing the farmer an influx of cash to get the crops growing. In return, participants receive a weekly supply of product, typically fruit and vegetables often accompanied by a newsletter and recipes to leave you feeling inspired to get into the kitchen.
At Iyé Creative, we have spent the past three years building relationships with local farmers, food producers, farmers market organizers, food hubs, and consumers, and navigating bridging the gaps between these communities. We see the immense value of Community Supported Agriculture as a model to build a more resilient and more equitable local food system.
Featured below are a few of the initiatives we’re working on to spread awareness and engagement with local food here on the traditional, unceded and occupied territories of the Esquimalt and Songhees nations.
Our Palenke Produce Boxes have been a way to share local food with the community while supporting the livelihoods of local farmers and food producers. Participants receive no-cost boxes of locally-grown or locally-made food, and have an opportunity to build community and engage in conversations around diversity in our food system.
Our Palenke Greens workshops have been a way to showcase the Afro-Indigenous vertical growing method of burlap sack gardens, while teaching community members about growing food in the city.
Upbeet Garden CSA
Upbeet Garden - founded and operated by Jesse Wallis and Brooke Williams - was born with an intention to weave ecological restoration, food justice, and accessibility. In 2022, members of our IBPOC communities received a total of 143 produce boxes grown by Upbeet Garden.
Image credit: Rob Antill
Plot Market Garden CSA
With the expertise of our farmer friends Emily Harris and Tyler Browne at The Plot Market Garden, and the contributions of our community who helped us crowd-fund, we were able to supply 106 no-cost CSA boxes to equity-deserving community members in 2022.
Image credit: Niche Grocerant