Local farm makes it easy to enjoy organic produce

Farm-fresh seedlings and CSA shares offer many benefits!

If you’ve paid a visit or two to this website or watched any episodes of Paula Roy’s Favourite Foods, then you already know how much I adore cooking (and eating) fresh vegetables and herbs. As a new gardening season approaches, I’m really excited to be partnering with Ferme Pleine Lune, an organic operation in Low, Quebec that offers stellar seedlings and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for their fresh produce.

Now in their seventh season at Ferme Pleine Lune (Full Moon Farm), Randi Townsend and Jon Smiley have a combined 25 years of agricultural experience. They were drawn to organic farming – and to each other – by a shared love of the outdoors and of getting dirty. “We are dedicated to doing work that contributes to the betterment of the world, and spending our time doing something that is in line with our own ethics,” explains Randi. “This farm for us is an ongoing project of learning and improving – both in terms of our own skills and practices, but also in the positive impacts we can make on the land,” she adds. “Farming feels like a tactile, practical labour of love that satisfies our desire to do good. And, we love food!”

Randi and Jon in the fields of Pleine Lune Farm with their elder child.

Now is the time to pre-order seedlings from Randi and Jon. There’s no better way to kickstart the growing season and seedlings will be ready for you to plant after the last frost (typically mid-late May in the Ottawa/Outaouais region). If you’re looking to harvest top-quality herbs and produce from your own home garden, or have abundant flowering blooms, it really does pay to start with quality seedlings. Temporary garden centres at big box, hardware or grocery stores have few – if any – organic seedling options so working with a reputable local organic farm can pay huge dividends. And really, if you’re going to grow your own food, don’t you want it to be as nourishing as possible? You can find out all about Ferme Pleine Lune’s seedling program here and place your order now.

I’m excited to get top-quality organic tomato seedlings from Ferme Pleine Lune this spring.

Randi notes that the farm still has a limited number of CSA shares available and they offer an installment payment plan, if needed. Here are a few details about how Ferme Pleine Lune’s CSA program works and why I find it so appealing:

  • You purchase a “crop share” during winter or early spring, choosing your preferred option for size and frequency. As a shareholder, you provide key financial support in advance, helping this farming family to grow fresh vegetables in the upcoming growing season.
  • Over a four-month period, share members either come to the farm weekly to pick up their already-paid-for shares of just-harvested vegetables, pick up their shares at one of several pre-determined locations, or for a small fee, enjoy the convenience of home delivery.
  • The packaging-free farm basket pick-ups are all set up ‘market style’, so CSA participants get to choose from the variety of produce available. Curate your own basket by taking every item, leaving some behind or swapping one you dislike for a favorite! Some items are offered as a ‘free choice’, when they are in abundant supply.
  • CSAs offer the opportunity to enjoy produce at its peak of ripeness and freshness. CSA vegetables are packed with flavour and nutrition because they are just-picked; they also last much longer than similar items purchased at the grocery store and typically cost less than store-bought organic produce.
  • The content of each week’s share truly follows the seasons, as everything is grown – with sustainable farming practices – from seed to seedling, tended without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and then harvested on the premises. These are vegetables you can really feel good about eating.
  • It’s fun and inspiring to receive a great variety of greens, vegetables, and herbs throughout the season and the farm’s helpful weekly emailed newsletter gives advance notice of what to expect in your basket along with recipes, ideas and farm updates.
CSA participation nets you fourth months’ access to the freshest, ripest organic produce available.

I encourage you to read more about Ferme Pleine Lune’s wonderful CSA program or skip right to the signup form. And here’s a tip: a CSA share makes an excellent gift as well!

Stay tuned throughout the growing season as I plan to offer up some fresh and flavourful new vegetable recipes.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.