I grew up on our family farm on Howe Island, but when I was a kid I didn’t think I’d want to be a farmer.

Like many people, I left home during my late teens and early twenties. I traveled and went to university for environmental science. However, I was frustrated with mainstream attitudes about social and environmental issues.

I knew I had to find a way to make a living and I didn’t see many career opportunities that would allow me to make an immediate positive difference.

And then I heard about the Community Shared Agriculture model of farming. I realized that I was in a unique position, having grown up on an organic farm.

I decided to start exploring the ways that growing vegetables organically could have positive impact in my community and for the Earth.

In 2002, I started working on an organic CSA farm near Guelph. Over the following 5 years I learned everything I could. I joined that CSA as a member for a couple of years and learned to cook and eat the CSA way. At the same time, I started a small garden and I taught myself to preserve food. I got involved with community gardening as well and volunteered on several organic vegetable farms. By 2007, I had returned to Kingston area and to the family farm and I was ready! I launched Root Radical CSA.

I’ve always loved eating vegetables. When I was a kid, green beans were my favourite; I remember asking Mom if we could have broccoli for dinner more often. Eating the CSA way has been a natural fit for me.

However, like anyone who to wants eat better, I have had to learn how to incorporate more vegetables into my meals and how to cook with unfamiliar foods.

I understand that learning is an important part of the journey for new CSA members. Aside from great-tasting vegetables, one of the nice things about joining our CSA is that I’ll support you in that journey.

2016 Harvest Celebration photo by Asad Chishti

The CSA is motivating and energizing for everyone involved because the vegetables taste great and because it’s a community effort.

No one likes to feel they are alone. I love that I get to see first-hand that the work I do matters in the lives of our CSA members. Likewise, our CSA members know that their support makes a big difference in my life.