Organic Food Baskets for Schools from Canaan’s CSA Farm
Although organic food has been around for centuries, it has only reached mainstream popularity in the last decade. Still, lots of people around the world don’t have access to healthy, organic foods, and many aren’t aware of the benefits of growing it. With this in mind, our CSA farm, Canaan Organic Farm, established a new project with the goal of educating local school children on the benefits of organic agricultural practices through the wonderful medium of delicious food.
What is a CSA farm?
CSA’s, or community supported agriculture farms, are farms that provide food to members of the community based on their pledge to support the farm operations. Through this mutually beneficial relationship, people gain access to nutritious, locally grown fruit and vegetables, and CSA’s are assured that their crop will sell. The relationship is favorable for all, as both the buyer and the farmer share the risks and the benefits of food production.
CSA Box from Farm to School
Located in Al Jalameh village in northern West Bank, Canaan Organic farm sits on 40 dunams (about 10 acres) and has over 20 crops planted together in the same plot. Our CSA farm is managed by agricultural engineers under the guidance of Nasser Abufarha, the founder of Canaan Palestine. With a combination of modern organic practices and traditional agricultural practices from our Palestinian heritage, the farm represents our vision to bring sustainably-grown, healthy vegetables to the people of Palestine. Through this vision, we aim to bring about awareness and demand for these products, while also standing as an example of an economically successful, sustainable, and healthy farm.
In order to deliver on our mission, we first recognize that good soil health is vital for growing healthly plants, as well as maintaining a healthy environment. We use a number of practices to protect soil health, including:
Planting cover crops, which save moisture in the soil and sustain a dynamic microbe life which increases the production of nutrients in the plants.
Utilizing unique biodiversity planting strategies to aid in pest control.
Planting a good number of varieties of plants.
Using plant and animal waste as organic compost.
Applying planting cycles to achieve a balanced ecosystem
CSA Box from Farm to School
We’ve established a new project by creating our version of a CSA box, full of healthy, organic vegetables to be sent to primary level students. In the early morning, when the sun begins to shine on our farmlands, we begin handpicking fresh vegetables and filling handmade straw baskets. We load the baskets into our refrigerated trucks, which maintain the freshness of the organic food, and deliver them directly to the students.
Our goal is simple, yet hugely important: to serve the community by raising awareness of healthy agricultural practices through organic food. Students can bring the vegetables home to their families where everyone will see, touch, and taste the vegetables. Through this experience, we hope to inspire students’ curiosity. They can get involved with choosing what to eat and begin to understand the immense value of healthy vegetables – potentially creating new eating habits for both young kids and their parents.
Organic Food for the Latin Schools of Zababdeh on World Food Day
World Food Day occurs on October 16th each year and serves as a reminder that the food we choose and where it comes from affects our health and the health of the planet. This year, the Canaan Organic Farm team visited the Latin Patriarchate Schools of Zababadeh village. They celebrated World Food Day with the first-grade students by talking about organic farming concepts and providing each student, 84 in total, with a basket full of organic food. The children were able to connect the environmental importance of organic farming to the food in their hands, straight from the CSA box.
While nutritious vegetables might be out of sight and out of mind for many, Canaan Organic Farm aims to change that. Through our CSA’s baskets full of organic food, we’re teaching people of all ages about the benefits of sustainable farming. Our planet nourishes us, and we can see evidence of this fact in each vegetable we grow. We must return the favor by nurturing the land – something we will continue to teach to people one basket at a time.