Community Supported Agriculture &
Community Supported Fishery
Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Consumer Supported Fisheries (CSF) are indeed alive and well in Carteret County though we sometimes stretch the definitions as needed to satisfy the consumer. Traditional definitions usually involve a single farmer growing, harvesting and selling from their own farm and marketing to consumers who enjoy the rich variety of diverse vegetables and fruits; weekly boxes expose families to a varied seasonality not found in grocery stores and give the farmer the stability and confidence in sales.
Why do we buy through a CSA? Supporting our local farmers is the main reason. They work blazing hard for the freshest product and our dollars show our respect and appreciation for their efforts. Plus, it was harvested only hours ago! This keeps the nutritional value at its peak.
CSA farmers like Sherri Garner of Garner Farms in Newport will repeat their success in 2021 by offering weekly boxes of the freshest ingredients they can grow on their farm. "We were pleased with our first year's orders in 2020 and expect we can repeat this again this year. We plan to start in early spring with lots of strawberries and salad greens, and run through the fall season again." Pickup is at the farm so you can add extra ears of corn or my fave - Jalapeno Popper Dip! Details and order form is available at GarnerFarmsNC.com.
Also repeating on last year's success in CLFN's own Veggie Van and the CSA, we offer fresh ingredients from farmers like Sherri and other locals from Willis Farm, The Farm at Bogue, Merrell Farm, Twisted Willow, LongLeaf Farm, grayze farm, Simpson Tomatoes, as well as some non-Carteretians like Harlowe Custom Microgreens and Dennis Collins. In 2021 this produce will be sold by subscription shares instead of individual boxes. Pickup is at several food businesses and farmers' markets. Details and order form is available at CarteretLocalFoodNetwork.org.
Shenk Family Farm also manages a CSA called 'Farm Family Package' with chickens and pork where you may order either a small or large package for delivery either every two or four weeks; fresh eggs would be an add-on order. Consumers may also purchase exactly what they need directly from the website instead of buying the package. Farmer Rachel Shenk claims that these orders allow her 'to work smarter, not harder'. Pickup is at several food businesses and farmers' markets. Details and order form is available at ShenkFamilyFarm.com.
CSF provider Walking-Fish buys Carteret County caught and farmed seafood, and delivers these to Durham and Raleigh to consumers who have bought a seasonal subscription. Board member Debbie Callaway recalls that 2020 was a great year "probably in part due to the pandemic and unavailability of easy travel to find fresh fish at the coast" and reveals that she relies solely on word-of-mouth advertising and they sell out each season. Details and order form is available at Walking-Fish.org.
This popular method of marketing is a bonus to farmers and consumers alike, and we expect to see more farmers and fishermen cropping up in Carteret. Let us know of new ones!