Friday, January 19, 2018 5:20 am Last modified: 1:52 am

Ridge to Reef Farm to Open Registration for CSA Program in January

The 2017 Winter VI Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program will begin in the second week of January.

Once Ridge to Reef (R2R) Farm’s CSA program is sold out, the farm will be closing registration to new full season members. Those interested are asked to sign up soon for winter season items that include salad greens, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplants, green onions, carrots, bananas, radishes, turnips, cooking greens, squash varieties, beans, peppers, eggs, citrus, herbs, coffee, free-range meats and more. Pro-rating options are available for those who won’t be in the Virgin Islands for the entire winter season.

Fresh and certified organic: R2R’s unique production quality standards for the V.I. are USDA inspected. CSA takes many extra steps in our practices and record keeping to be certified so buyers know they are eating truly organic, local food, following the over 100 guidelines in the USDA National Organic Program (NOP).

These practices range from maintaining clean handling facilities to building healthy organic soil for capturing carbon and purifying rainwater filtration, upholding a pristine water source and excluding all GMOs, R2R does this because those who work at the farm are foodies, and they want real organic food, too.

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Thanks to the public’s support as members, organic is possible for more and more people in the V.I. every week.

Being a CSA member also bolsters the Farm-to-School program. R2R became the first local farm in 60 years to provide contractual produce to the USVI public school system. School children receive local greens and vegetables by paying up-front for the season, since the schools tend to pay 1-12 months after harvest and delivery. The CSA leverages dollars to fund production costs and to channel in produce from other farms, thus increasing the value of every one of the dollars for the betterment of the community. At the same time, the members receive bargain rates for organic produce they can’t get anywhere else. Some people call it a win-win, we just call it good community.

Customize CSA options:

*Organic produce share (weekly fresh harvested greens, vegetables, herbs, bush tea, root crops, select fruits)

*Organic fruit share (weekly selections of citrus, bananas, berries, papayas, sour sop and many more tree crops)

*1 dozen free range eggs per week

*Shade grown Puerto Rican coffee (1 lbs. every other week)

*or all of the above

*Also new is the “meat share” (currently only on St. Croix, buy a la carte on St. Thomas and St. John).

CSA pick up locations are conveniently located in Frederiksted, Christiansted, Havensight and the Gifft Hill School. Please support the gracious CSA hosts as they are part of the territory-wide organic produce team.

Through these and other outlets, R2R is working closer each season towards its goal to feed 1 percent of the Virgin Islands with organic food.

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