It just doesn't get any fresher than this
It's a wet and muddy Thursday evening at Luscher Farm. As rain patters against the red roof of the big white barn, residents of Lake Oswego and surrounding areas arrive in droves, scamper into the barn and re-emerge carrying sacks filled to the brim with fresh vegetables.
Neither the rain nor the dark clouds overhead appear to dampen the enthusiasm these folks have for the fresh food they receive as members of Luscher Farm's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
Next week, they'll make their last pickup of the winter season. But that doesn't mean it's too late to take part in what really is one of Lake Oswego's best-kept secrets.
On Thursday, April 19, CSA coordinator Laura Masterson will host an Open House from 5-7 p.m. at the farm, where attendees can learn more about the program's mission, its sustainable farming practices and all of the benefits that come with being a CSA member.
Masterson, who is also the manager of Portland's 47th Avenue Farm, and her staff will be on hand to talk about the food, how its grown, best practices and how often members can expect a share. With more than 20 years of experience in sustainable farming, Masterson's goal is to provide CSA members with good, clean, locally produced foods while also sharing a bit of her knowledge in the process.
"We're always working to improve all the vegetable varieties we offer to our CSA members," Masterson says. "Last year, we did quite a bit of research and found some new locally adapted heirloom tomatoes that are both incredibly flavorful and strikingly beautiful. We are very excited to be growing Vintage Wine, Giant of Siebenburgen and Moldovan Green tomatoes for our Luscher Farm CSA members this summer."
All vegetables grown at Luscher Farm and 47th Avenue are picked at their peak of ripeness and nutritional value. The CSA is vehemently committed to organic and sustainable practices, and employs the use of electric farming equipment when available to cut down on the farm's carbon footprint as well.
Two share sizes are available: half shares (small families and couples) at $585, and full shares (larger families) at $1,055 for Lake Oswego residents. Weekly summer pickups are on Thursdays, with the summer season running from May 17 to Oct. 25.
Registration for the Luscher Farm CSA is now open. Online registration fees will be waived for anyone who signs up at the April 19 Open House, where they are encouraged to meet Masterson and her crew and see for themselves the CSA's commitment to freshness and sustainability.