For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2013
Southcoast Health System to offer CSA program through a partnership with Silverbrook Farm
CSA cooperatives rely on a prepayment system that guarantees revenue for farmers prior to a growing season. Local community farmers are better able to supply a sufficient volume of produce to their customers based on predetermined demand. Unlike large farms that sell produce to large food distributers, typical New England farms that are small and family owned rely on farmers' markets and other small selling arenas to support themselves and their families. CSAs provide a more reliable source of revenue for local farmers and a steady supply of fresh, locally grown food for their CSA customers.
CSAs consist of a group of consumers or community members who choose to purchase a farm "share" from a local farm. This mutually beneficial agreement supports community based sustainable agriculture and offers a fun, resourceful way to support local farming while reducing our carbon footprint.
"We are excited to work with Silverbrook Farm to offer farm fresh fruits and vegetables to our 7,000 employees and neighboring communities," said Robert Caldas, DO, Chief Medical Officer for Southcoast Health System. "As the region's leading health care system, providing better access to healthy, nutritious food is a key part of our mission for disease prevention. We are constantly looking for new avenues to support the health of the South Coast region — that includes physical and mental health for the residents and economic health for the local businesses."
Depending on the time of season, shares may include: basil, beets, broccoli, carrots, corn, cucumbers, currants, eggplant, garlic, herbs, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, salad greens, spinach, squash, string beans, tomatoes, turnips, apples, blueberries, grapes, melons, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries and flowers. In addition, a variety of locally produced cheeses as well as Silverbrook's own free-range eggs, preservative-free jams and a variety of mustards are occasionally included in the weekly shares.
"We partner with six local farms to bring a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to our CSA program and to help spread the revenue of the CSA throughout the South Coast farming community," said Andy Pollack, owner of Silverbrook Farm of Dartmouth, which was established in 1690. "Buying local ensures that land stays in agriculture and preserves the beautiful landscape that we all enjoy. A simple purchasing decision makes a large local difference."
The 2013 CSA season begins on Monday, June 17, and ends on Friday, October 25. Members may opt to purchase either a full or half share box, which can be paid for entirely upfront or in three installments. A full share costs $741 for the entire season (which breaks down to $39 a week) and a half share costs $399 ($21 a week) for the season. Shares can be conveniently picked up at one of four weekly Southcoast Health System Farmers' Market locations. CSA members will choose one pick up location that will remain the same for the entire season. Locations include:
Mondays, from 3 to 6 p.m.
Tobey Hospital Farmers' Market 43 High Street, Wareham
Tuesdays, from 3 to 5 p.m.
South Coast Business Center Farmers' Market 200 Mill Road, Fairhaven
Wednesdays, from 3 to 6 p.m.
St. Luke's Hospital Farmers' Market 101 Page Street, New Bedford
Thursdays, from 3 to 6 p.m.
Charlton Memorial Hospital Farmers' Market 363 Highland Avenue, Fall River
The deadline to join the Southcoast CSA program is June 1. Subscriptions are accepted on a first come, first served basis. For more information or to join the CSA program please visit www.southcoast.org/farmersmarket/csa.html or contact Sydney Patten at 508-961-5079.