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Time to consider joining CSA

Trout Lake News for May 10

By the

Trout Lake Newswriters

Sarah Burr Arnold, 395-2669

Sean McGroarty, 395-9394

Kira Fogarty

Sofie Brubaker

When I first moved to Trout Lake I was informed that the local measure for spring planting was based on when Sleeping Beauty lost all her snow. The snow in question has waxed and waned through the last few weeks. If you are a long time gardener, your beds are probably ready to go and you may have sown your early season crops like greens and peas and carrots. You may have seeds started in a green house or cold frame. If gardening is new to you, now is a perfect time to try it. Go small scale and consider a raised bed or large container. Many things can be grown this way, and I think there is little more satisfying than picking one's own food.

If you are not blessed with sun, like the many forested houses in Trout Lake, or the time, then consider joining a CSA. There are CSAs local to Trout Lake as well as down the valley. The CSA or Community Supported Agriculture model is one in which consumers help the farm by paying up front for a share of what the farm will produce. In this way the farm has capital for paying workers and making necessary repairs or changes that need to be done early in the season. Produce and meat farmers both use CSAs locally, so check them out and collect the bounty of summer when it gets here.

The Hood River Farmer's Market has already begun. The markets in White Salmon and Trout Lake will open in late June. Farmer's markets are another great way to support local agriculture.

In addition our own Trout Lake Grocery has a growing selection of local products, including eggs, cheese and bread. When it comes to fruit, consider going straight to the farm. U-picking, and large orders can be done directly with many fruit growers in the area. Some orchards offer seconds at very reasonable prices. I myself take full advantage of the windfall apples in the Gorge for making sauce in the fall.

It may seem like spring has just begun, but now is the time to start thinking about all the good things to come, and with a little planning you can grow your own and help support the farmer next door.

Speaking of Trout Lake's Saturday Market -- pick a Saturday. That's what market manager Patty Gray is asking of families, teens or groups wanting to raise money. The Saturday Market is looking for individuals who would be willing to make a light breakfast (such as scrambled eggs, quiche, muffins, etc.) or lunch (like hot dogs, spaghetti, etc.) on any given Saturday from June 30 to Sept. 1. The market is paying for floor cleanup. Individuals wanting to participate can call Gray at 493-8959.

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