November 3, 2022

FARM NEWS

Delivery Update

It’s taking us longer than we anticipated to fulfill all of our deliveries on Sunday so we’ve decided to slightly extend our delivery times. Here’s our new delivery schedule:

Castlegar: 8 am till 12 noon

Nelson: 12 noon till 3 pm.

We’re also going to have to start enforcing our cut off time for orders on Saturday. Since we don’t have a walk in cooler at our new farm yet, we are storing our vegetables at another farm. We have to go get them on Saturday afternoon so if your order hasn’t come in by then we won’t have the veggies to fulfill your order.

For the best selection of veggies, place your order by Thursday night. We’re now collaborating with a few different farms to make sure our online farm store is stocked. We place our orders with them on Fridays by 6 am and we don’t order more veggies than are pre-sold in order to eliminate food waste.

Order cut off time: Saturday at noon.

 

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work!

So far this year we’ve collaborated with 12 different local farms! We absolutely love collaborating with all of the local farmers here in the Kootenays and getting a chance to stop by their farms.

One of our main goals with Confluence Farms is to become an aggregator for the best locally-grown food we can find. We want to build a network (some might say a confluence, get it!?) with as many local farmers as we can so that we can offer the widest variety of local produce and products all year round. The fact that farmer’s markets shut down in the winter for seven months and that there’s very little access to local food in general is worrisome to us. If local farmers can’t make money in the winter they’re forced to find temporary work which can be a stressful endeavor. Seven months without local food also leaves us very vulnerable from a food security standpoint.

We also want to become a substantial wholesale channel for our local farmers. There are a lot of young farmers here in the Kootenays and it’s a beautiful thing to see. However, without adequate sales channels to support them, there is a risk that many of them will get burnt out and quit. We can’t let that happen!

We believe if we can build a strong enough network of local farmers and get enough support from our community we could feed everyone in the Kootenays with locally-grown food. With enough teamwork, we can make this dream work!

 

Rutabaga

Description: Rutabaga is a winter root veggie that is thought to be a cross between a turnip and a wild cabbage. When cooked it has a similar texture to a carrot and makes an excellent mash. The flavour is slightly sweet and slightly earthy with its own distinct rutabaga flavour.

Details: Sold per pound.

Grown by Crooked Horn Farm, Winlaw.

 

Watermelon Radish

Description: Despite the name, watermelon radishes do not taste like a watermelon! These radishes have a gorgeous pink inside and will really make a dish pop visually. They have a nice crisp and crunchy texture with a mild flavor that is slightly sweet yet peppery.

Details:
Sold per pound.

Grown by Linden Lane Farm, Krestova.

 

Black Spanish Radish

Description: Black Spanish radishes have a sharp, spicy flavor reminiscent of horseradish and can be eaten both raw and cooked. When used fresh, it should be thinly sliced, chopped, or shredded and combined with tart and sweet ingredients to balance flavors. Shredded Black radishes can be tossed into salads or used as a topping for tacos.

It is important to note that the skin contains most of the spicy, peppery flavor. If a milder taste is desired, it can be peeled before eating. Black radishes can also be roasted, braised or sautéed.

Details:
Sold per pound.

Grown by Linden Lane Farm, Krestova.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT 🍎

 Don't Buy Food From Strangers


When you were young your parents adamantly told you “don’t take candy from strangers”. This of course is sound advice. You don’t know what could be in that candy. You don’t know the intentions of strangers. You don’t know if strangers are trustworthy. Yet, when we get older we not only buy candy from strangers, we buy all of our food from strangers.

The most popular way to buy food today is from a grocery store; often big chain supermarkets. When you walk into a grocery store and browse the food, you have no idea where it all came from. You don’t know the farmers who grew it, the farming practices that were used or where those farms are located. The only information you get is the country where it was produced.

You walk through the aisles, pick out what you need, add it to your shopping cart and head to the checkout. There you’re met with an insincere "Hi, how are you?" by the checkout clerk who, unsurprisingly, is also a stranger. You respond with an equally insincere “Good, you?”.

After you purchase your groceries your money then gets funneled into the pockets of non-local business and investors whom you’ll never know or meet. There's essentially no emotion involved when you shop at a grocery store. It’s impersonal and indifferent. The food you buy was produced by strangers, the people who own these grocery stores are strangers and the staff who operate them are also strangers. It’s pretty bizarre when you think about it. When in history have entire communities been reliant on strangers to produce and deliver their food?

When we buy food from strangers we end up separating our food from its origins and from the farmers who grew it. When we do this our food starts to feel more like a generic commodity. And when we think of something as a commodity we start to treat it like a commodity. If a tomato is a tomato regardless of how it was grown and harvested then the logical thing to do would be to buy the most amount of tomatoes for the cheapest price. This then creates a competition to see who can create the cheapest food. Farming becomes a race to the bottom. From this point of view the companies who are willing to exploit their land, their local ecosystems, their workers and their animals to produce the cheapest food win. As a result we get grocery stores that are stocked with cheap, low-quality food that come with huge environmental and ethical price tags.

Viewing food as a commodity also makes it feel disposable. When things are cheap and we don’t think about how difficult it was to create it, it's easier to throw it away and waste it. Is this really the relationship we want with our food? Our relationship with food has become disconnected because of grocery stores but there are ways we can rebuild it. This first step is to start buying food from people you know.

If you were to step outside the grocery store bubble and start buying directly from local farmers, that food will take on a wholly different experience. When you buy directly from a local farmer and you know where that food was grown, perhaps you've even been to the farm or seen pictures of it, you will feel more connected to your home. When you buy local you get the opportunity to build a relationship with your local farmer. When your farmer asks “how are you?” they will actually mean it and the same will go for you. When you buy from a local farmer you have to acknowledge how much hard work and skill it must take to grow and harvest all of that food. When you pay for locally-grown food you know that that money is going back into the community. It will go towards local food security. It will help make fresh nutritious food more accessible.

From this perspective, locally-grown food seems more like a work of art or a gift. Something that should be cherished and savored. Cooked with intention and love. Something that should not be wasted.

In Canada almost 3 million tons of food is wasted each year. It gets thrown in the trash, trucked to a landfill and dumped into a desolate landscape of smelly garbage. When that food rots it produces a liquid called leachate which can seep into and pollute groundwater. Rotting food also produces methane which is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Why do we waste so much food? I think the main reason is because we've lost our connection to it. It's easy to throw away a generic, cheap commodity. It's a lot harder to throw away a work of art made by a member of your community whom you know personally.

I feel bad for people who only shop at grocery stores. It’s an alienating experience. One that I feel is harmful to the psyche. With self-serve checkouts you can now walk into a grocery store, buy your groceries and leave without ever speaking with or making eye contact with a single person. It creates the antithesis of community. Is this the type of world we want to create? A world or strangers?

Buying food from strangers is a recent phenomenon. One that has been pioneered by industrial agriculture. Grocery stores are so ubiquitous that many of us aren’t even aware what we’re giving up when we shop there. Buying food from strangers creates a world of more strangers. It degrades our relationship with our land and with one another. There are people in our community who are eager to grow your food and to get to know you. You just have to step outside your daily routine and connect with them.

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