Working towards a greener lifestyle

KINGSTON — The Kingston Cove Food Cooperative wants to provide its clients with a broader range of organic foods.

John Gunning of Colinwood Farms in Chimacum wants to expand the customer base for his 12 acres of organically grown fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Together, the two groups will promote both objectives this weekend by starting a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that will be based out of the local food co-op this summer.

From 2-4 p.m. Feb. 7, interested residents can show up at the co-op on N.E. Illinois in Kingston to sign up for the program and talk with Gunning about what he can offer.

“The farmer will be here so they can ask any questions they will have,” said Kingston Cove Food Cooperative Board member Janice Hill.

From May 22 through Oct. 30, Gunning will provide boxes of organically grown vegetables, herbs and fruits as well as bread and organic beef through the CSA program.

“That’s 26 weeks worth of produce,” Hill said. “It’s really a good deal.”

Gunning will offer 10 to 15 different types of items per box with hopes of varying the products each week.

“It depends on what crops are available,” he said.

Two share sizes will be available — enough for one person or enough for one to two people, with choices for vegetables only or a mix of both vegetables and fruit.

Gunning will also provide other organic items including whole wheat and soy flours, rolled oats, sunflower, flax and sesame seeds, as well as certified organic extra lean beef.

Clients can sign up for the program at any time at the co-op and pick up their boxes at noon on Saturdays there starting in May.

Gunning, who has been a certified organic farmer since 1989, grows about 140 different produce items and herbs. He often quotes from studies and articles he reads about incorporating the chemically-free foods into today’s lifestyle.

“When people say, ‘I can’t afford more for organic,’ the value is in the studies,” Gunning said, referring to a Rutgers University study of mineral contents in organic vegetables. The study found there are 75 percent more trace minerals in organic foods than in non-organic foods.

But establishing a CSA program does more than just provide healthy foods, Hill said.

“(Going through) any local CSA or buying produce locally, you’re going to save fossil fuels,” Hill explained. “It’s the transportation cost that is killing us. If we buy vegetables and fruits that are in season and local, we don’t have to depend on what’s in Peru.”

While the food co-op has been providing organic foods since February 2002, Hill said she wants to provide a wider range of produce and having an easily accessible CSA is a good way to do this.

“We want consistent produce,” Hill said. “It’s been difficult to find consistent produce. We need a large farm like John’s to provide a variety of produce.”

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