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Valentino's Organic Family Gardens & CSA

Here is a little bit about who we are and what we love to do.

Morning Yoga Session
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An Ashtanga session with Mani & Carin

Why Organic? Why did we choose the CSA model for business?

Carin and I chose sustainable organic farming as a lifestyle. Our priority and goal is to create a self-sustainable farm organism. With solid strategies, strong teamwork, and efficient management of resources, we are able to provide for our needs and share the bountiful surplus with others.

We recognize that conventional agriculture can produce massive amounts of food. With an exponential growth of the world's popluation, it might make sense to produce food in this manner.

But in our experience and opinion, this form of factory-like production is not natural or healthy for humans or the environment. Nor does it address the reality that in the shadow of this conventional bounty, millions of men, women, and children die every year from starvation.

We know through experience that sustainable organic practices are the only ethical means in which to produce our food. Sometimes the vegetables are smaller or blemished by a zealous insect. But it is a pure and beautiful manifestation of our desire to live in balance with nature.

Community Supported Agriculture and Farmers Market venues were the obvious choice for us. By marketing our produce and services directly to the consumer, we eliminate the middle-person and wholesale brokers who absorb large portions of a typical farmer's income.

This business choice provides a livelihood and a modest income that provides for all of our needs. It also connects us to the consumer and the communities that we serve. In that, we are able to teach others about alternatives to our modern day lives.

The best part is being able to be together as a family for an entire five or six months each year. No commuting, no day care, no distractions. Just family time. Priceless. 

Who are we?

We met in Costa Rica while volunteering for an organic farm on the Pacific coast and quickly became volunteer coordinators and farm managers for the 12 hectare operation. During that time we learned about organic agriculture and biodynamics. One of our responsibilities was organizing and accomplishing the farm's transition from organic certification to Demeter (biodynamic) certification. Soil that had previously displayed poor tilth and the common red-clay appearance found in Central America's rain-battered terrain soon changed to rich dark loam that teamed with life and vigor.
On February 8, 2004 our son Mani was born in San Isidro del Perez Zeladon, Costa Rica. Four months later we returned to Canada so we could be closer to family and to start a farm of our own.
 
  

Community Supported Agriculture

Members pay for a "share" or the harvest before the season begins. This money is used for seeds and other needs as well as providing a guaranteed income for the grower(s). In return, the grower works hard to cultivate and produce high quality foods for the members. SInce nature has the last say in what happens, members and growers share in the bounty and set-backs of the season--such as insects, heavy rains, late frosts, crop failures and other unforseen natural troubles.
 
Here in Ottawa, the season lasts anywhere from 16-20 weeks unless greenhouses are used to extend the season.
Once harvesting begins in late spring or early summer, members receive boxes (bags, baskets) of produce. first to arrive are radish, lettuce, spinach, peas, and other cool weather crops. Next comes warmer weather crops like squash, cucumber, tomato, peppers, etc. As each week progresses, more varieties become available. Sometimes the weekly bags are very heavy and literally bursting with abundance.
Since we are connected to other producers, we can provide access to other food items like farm fresh eggs and meats, honey, sunflowers and certified fair trade organic coffees at discounted prices. that's a bonus. 
The key to the CSA experience is to "know your grower". By supporting local growers, you are able to reduce the waste of precious natural resources. Instead of relying on imported foods that travel from far across the globe, we can reduce pollution and excessive use of petroleum products like oil, fuel, and agro-chemicals by purchasing local grown organic goods. It's worth the effort.

"Reconnecting the human spirit with Mother Earth".

Left to right--Catherine, Carin, Mani, Kame &  Joel...playing "horsey" on Catherine & Joel's farm outside of Rockland, Ontario.

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valentinosfamilycsa@yahoo.ca

Valentino's Family CSA