Local, sustainable and incredibly fresh
Boxes upon boxes of freshly picked vegetables sat sprawled across tables in the barn at Luscher Farm on a recent evening, when residents of Lake Oswego and surrounding areas stopped by to pick up their share of the bounty from the Winter Community Supported Agriculture program.
From kale and carrots to brussels sprouts and red onions, the Luscher Farm Winter CSA provides the community with a one-stop shop for the freshest food available throughout the winter months.
The Willamette Valley's lush soils yield incredible crops throughout the spring, summer and fall, but Oregon's temperate climate also allows nature to provide bountiful harvests throughout the winter as well. And that's where Laura Masterson's expertise and 20-plus years of farming knowledge become a huge boon to Lake Oswegans committed to eating locally and sustainably.
Masterson is the manager of Portland's 47th Avenue Farm as well as the CSA garden, which sits on a piece of Luscher Farm land at the intersecton of Stafford and Rosemont roads. She and her crews work hard to make sure members of the CSA get the freshest vegetables available in their bi-weekly share box.
"I've been farming for quite a while and been involved with CSAs for that whole time, so I have a good idea of what is possible to grow, and we back that up with our crop plan to make sure people aren't getting a lot of the same thing all the time," Masterson says. "We grow a lot of stuff right here at Luscher Farm. We have some other properties as well, but a lot of the CSA produce in the share is grown by us. We don't buy anything from other farms."
The Winter CSA began in January, with the final pick-up scheduled for April 19. A half share costs $555, while a full share runs $999. The price breaks down to about $3.30 per day for a half share and $5.50 per day for a full share, according to the City's website.
Masterson says she's excited to see more and more community members signing up to be CSA members, and she's hopeful the program will continue to grow. She says she plans to host another Open House at the end of April so that she can connect with more community members about responsible farming practices and supporting local farms.
"There's this huge community aspect to CSAs," she says. "That includes supporting a local business, meeting your friends and neighbors at the pick-up, having a little social interaction, supporting local farmers, preserving open space and farm land. I think there's lots of great reasons to join."