Not only do we have an abundance of produce CSAs in Puget Sound, but this year, there’s a new type of CSA in town – an edible plant start CSA! Cascadian Edible Landscapes will deliver a flat of plant starts to you four times a year. For all of you budding gardeners, this is the perfect way to start gardening. Each flat of starts is season appropriate, so you won’t run the risk of planting tomatoes in March or peas in October. One of the hardest things for new gardeners to master is when to plant. With an edible plant start CSA, all you have to do is sit back and wait for your delivery and then get planting.
Cascadian Edible Landscapes, which has been seen recently at the Ballard, University District, and West Seattle Farmers’ Markets has the perfect website – http://www.eatyouryard.com. They offer a wide variety of services including custom worm bins, garden consultation, rain harvesting and can advise you on chickens and irrigation.
We contacted Cascadian Edible Landscapes and asked them a few questions about their CSA. Michael was kind enough to respond, even on a busy weekend of farmers markets.
1. How did you get started? We started the CSPS program to support both new and seasoned (experienced) gardeners. The intention is to turn a 1-season gardener into a 3-4 season gardener and also help the name of urban gardening by making our patches fuller for more of the year.
2. Are all the starts organic? We use organic soil, fertilizer, and pest controls. Our seeds are 80% organic seeds.
3. How do you choose the seed varieties? We choose varieties based on what people to like, plus introducing new items to nudge people’s ideas of what (A) is food and (B) what we can grow and (C) what we want to experiment with in our 2 greenhouses on Beacon Hill.
4. On average, how much garden space is needed for the 10 starts per delivery? Depending on which crops are chosen–A min of 35-50 square feet is required per Spring, Fall and Winter sessions. Summer is more like 75-100 square feet because tomatoes and squash take up some good room.
5. What does it cost for the CSA? Pricing is as follows:
- Spring: 10 items. $30 online, $33 paper signup
- Summer: 15 items. $40 online, $43 paper signup
- Fall: 10 items. $30 online, $33 paper signup
- Winter: 10 items. $30 online, $33 paper signup
6. What do you get? A full sample crop list can be found on their website. There are two types of orders, you choose and surprise me. For you choose, orders need to be in a bit early. It’s actually too late for a you choose order for spring, but you still have time to sign up for a you choose order for the rest of the seasons. You can also add more than 10 starts (15 in summer) for $3 per item.
7. Other information. When signing up for your CSPS (community supported plant starts) you can also add some financial support for low-income gardeners. I love this idea. $15 pays for a half flat and $30 for a flat. What a great way to help out!