African corn seeds ready an waiting to be planted & later shared with CSA members.

African corn seeds ready an waiting to be planted & later shared with CSA members.

CSA Delivery to Asylum Seekers in Need

One of the neat things about Community Supported Agriculture is that we have the opportunity to connect with our members directly, and that opens up new opportunities for trying new things and taking action that might not otherwise be possible. So, we're going to try this out...

Through the summer months (July-Sept) we're going to deliver some donated CSA shares to Portland's refugee resettlement agency, Catholic Charities. They're the only refugee resettlement agency in Maine and do very important work. They will in turn distribute the vegetable boxes to families in need who participate in they programming the offer.

Why distribute vegetables to asylum seekers? Because many of them really need it - and don't qualify for the supports that citizens and residents can access. They may not yet have the right to work and may not speak English yet. Read more about this initiative over on our blog!

So, how's this going to work? We'll add a few extra crops to our production plan to make sure we have enough extra food to make a difference. We'll also try a few crops that we otherwise might not grow, like a variety of eggplant called Gilo that's familiar throughout East and West Africa, and molokhia, a cooking green in the okra family. We'll bring these boxes to Catholic Charities for them to distribute to people and families already accessing their programs and resources. Our goal is to partially cover our costs of production to make it possible for us to deliver these boxes. The more support we can find, the more boxes we'll be able to pack each week! Our goals aren't huge, given our small farm size - around 10 boxes. We're aiming to deliver shares for 8 weeks (mid July to mid September) and to raise funds to cover approximately half of the value of each share.

Are you able to help? Every little bit will really help. CSA members can check a box to add a donation when they're signing up. If you aren't a member but still would like to help, that would be wonderful too! Please email us! There are a few easy ways you can contribute. Thanks everyone!