Wellness At Work: Community Supported Agriculture

For those of you who might be new to F&F, my full-time job is spearheading a wellness program for a Massachusetts-based electronic health vendor company. The program, named Wellness Works, has been underway for almost a year now, but yesterday kicked off one of our most exciting initiatives to date, a community supported agriculture program!

For those of you who have been around awhile, you might remember that Tim and I participated in a CSA program last year. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of a CSA, it is a growing movement that not only supports farm preservation, but it also connects communities with the land and people who grow their food. As supporters of local farming, CSA members enjoy their share of the harvest. I am thrilled to be a part of the group who made receiving fresh produce and farm fresh eggs at work possible this year!

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

After researching several local places, our company decided to partner with Heaven’s Harvest. I included this article in a recent Friday Favorites, but it mentions some of the benefits to offering produce deliveries at work. I like it for the accessibility and convenience, and Tim likes it for the opportunity to get creative with new to us foods. However, I’m most excited for staff who don’t necessarily eat all that well to have the opportunity to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in their diets.

Some of the main reasons we chose to work with Heaven’s Harvest include:

  • All certified organic produce
  • Three different share offerings (small, medium, and large) as opposed to a lot of the other farms that only offered two
  • Flexible payment options (staff can choose to pay upfront or in installments)
  • All customer service issues handled directly through the farm
  • Willingness of the farm to deliver to all seven of our Massachusetts based buildings
  • Excellent service and follow-up we received from the Heaven’s Harvest family

A couple of weeks ago, the farmers invited us for a tour so we could understand the process firsthand. I took a field trip out to New Braintree with two of my co-workers, and we had a great time seeing the inner workings of the farm. Here are some scenes from our visit:

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

 

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

IMG_5573

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

We were also invited to stay for a homemade lunch, so after our tour we enjoyed a delicious meal that really hit the spot.

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

Everything was so tasty, and we really enjoyed the company and conversation at lunch. The Heaven’s Harvest family was extremely hospitable and gracious, and I knew leaving that day that we made the right choice for our CSA vendor.

Heaven's Harvest Farm Tour

After the first delivery at work yesterday, everybody was just so happy! Worksite wellness offerings really do increase morale.

CSA Delivery

CSA Delivery

Tim and I opted for the medium share this summer, and the cost is almost $40 a week from June 10th through September 18th, with a little extra for the eggs. Check out the items from our first box today:

CSA Delivery 2

Sweet potatoes, asparagus, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, a awesomely huge tomato, red mustard greens, radishes, oregano, broccoli raab, and scallions. I love it! I really want to include a CSA series over the summer that highlights how Tim and I use all our produce, but we’ll see if I actually have time to follow through with that. Pictures at the very least!

Because of the Tuesday deliveries and busy summer weekends, we’ve decided to switch our meal plan and food prep day from Sundays to Tuesdays/Wednesdays. It will be a work in progress for a couple of weeks until we settle into a new routine, but I’ll let you know how it goes!

On our list of things to cook over the next couple of days:

  • This sweet potato salad
  • A chicken gnocchi skillet with dandelion greens and radishes
  • Asparagus, mushroom, and ricotta pizza for Friday night

And we’ll see what else comes to mind!

–Let’s chat–
Have you participated in a CSA program before? Does your company offer this benefit or anything similar to staff? What would you make with these ingredients?
Have you ever toured an organic farm before?

I don’t blog about every initiative we put on at work, but for some more posts from my wellness at work series: