- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Persephone Market Garden wants to share some of the bounty of their mixed farm with those who could use it the most.

The family farm near Allenford has been growing veggies and fruit for local families since 2010. Customers for their CSA – Community Shared Agriculture - pay in advance for a full season share of the farm's production of more than 35 crops from arugula to watermelon.

Kristine Hammel fills boxes of fresh produce for 35 to 40 customers each week, delivering them to drop-off locationspersephone1 in Owen Sound, Port Elgin and Wiarton.

One of her customers, a family doctor, said he would be happier making fresh produce available to someone who could not afford it, than to see that person in his practice needing a prescription. That is how the idea of subsidizing some of the CSA shares – up to 50% of the cost of a small share – began.

Kristine thinks knowing what to do with a box of vegetables is the key to eating more of them. Customers get a newsletter with their share which includes recipes, but also some basic skills. How to make a salad, what seasoning gives a dish an Asian flavour, or Mediterranean.; that sort of thing.
She has also shared that knowledge on the farm's website.

In addition to their CSA, Persephone sells through Eat Local Grey Bruce, and grows specialty items for local restaurants, like hot peppers for Casero. They are offering some seedlings and kitchen garden advice this year too.

If you want to know more about the CSA, the farm or the subsidies, contact Kristine through the website or at [email protected]. Applying for a subsidy does not require any financial disclosure; just a few sentences about the challenge to paying the full cost.

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