First Posted: 7/21/2014
The pile of boxes stacked in the back of the bright yellow Fertile Grounds truck, parked near Jaya Yoga in Clarks Summit, shrank as the business’ newest members picked up their first supplies of fresh organic vegetables Friday, July 18.
The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) company, based in Noxen, recently expanded to Clarks Summit, with other drop-off locations, including The Lands at Hillside Farms in Shavertown and the YMCA in downtown Wilkes-Barre. CSA is also known as “subscription farming,” because members, in exchange for “subscription fees,” receive every week until Halloween a box of seven to nine varieties of organic, fresh and locally-grown produce. Specific items in the box each week vary, depending on what is in season.
The Fertile Grounds truck will drop off the boxes between 4 and 6 p.m. every Friday in Clarks Summit.
Those interested in membership can learn more online at www.FertileGroundsCSA.com or by calling 570-262-3930. Membership rates, which are available on the website, are prorated and two-week trial subscriptions are also available.
Hilary Steinberg, owner of Jaya Yoga, said the service holds more benefits to the community than she can list, but some of the biggest are that the produce is “fresh, it’s local, it’s organic and it’s promoting the community.”
“It’s supporting the people here with healthy, fresh food,” she said, adding that Jaya is all about being healthy in all aspects — mind, body and spirit — and promoting wellness within the Abingtons community and beyond.
Fertile Grounds founder Deb Shoval said the concept of CSA has been around since the 1970s and is a “win-win” situation for all involved.
“The farmers get their money up front,” she said, “and customers get first pick, with no price increase from a middle man.”
“Fertile Grounds,” according to a news release, “boasts 100% organic growing methods, a repertoire of 45-plus different crops throughout the 22-week CSA season and an extensive website filled with storage tips, cooking tips and recipes.
The company also holds various events at its farm lands in Noxen, and families can go on tours to see from where their food comes. Shoval said this, as well as going to the truck pick-up sites, is a big hit for the children.
“And sometimes,” she said, “when the kids come with their parents to pick it up, they get more excited about eating the vegetables.”