Castle Valley Comments
April 10, 2014
by Ron Drake
Apr 10, 2014 | 391 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Castle Valley Farms is now taking orders for what is becoming its annual community supported agriculture (CSA) program. The idea started in recent years in Castle Valley but began more than 25 years ago in many other areas across the country. CSA has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.

Basically, a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically, the share consists of a box of vegetables, or in the case of Castle Valley Farms, a share can also include fruit. The arrangement provides several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. The farmer gets to spend time marketing food early in the season before the long days in the field begin. The farmer also receives payment early in the season, which helps cash flow and it gives him or her the opportunity to meet the consumer.

Through a CSA consumers have the opportunity to eat ultra-fresh food with all the benefits of flavor and vitamins. They become exposed to new vegetables and are able to develop a relationship with the farmer. Some CSAs aren’t confined to produce. Some farmers include the option for shareholders to buy shares of eggs, homemade bread, meat, cheese, flowers or other farm products along with their veggies.

Castle Valley Farms’ options include a vegetable share for $250 or a vegetable and fruit share for $300. A single share is designed for one to two people. The sign-up deadline is May 7 and they invite everyone to join them at 4 p.m. for a CSA farm tour on that day.

All baskets will be available for pickup at Castle Valley Farms on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Members are responsible for picking up their baskets at the designated time, but prior arrangements can be made for a different pickup time or for someone else to pick it up for you if necessary.

Members will receive a basket of produce each week starting June 5 and extending to the middle of October, depending on weather conditions. The types of produce will vary throughout the season and vegetable possibilities include: beans, beets, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, eggplant, melon, okra, peppers, potato, summer squash, tomato, winter squash, Swiss chard and watermelon. Possible fruit options include apricots, peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, apples, Asian pears and Bartlett pears.

Castle Valley Farms advises that members share in the risk of a poor harvest due to weather and pests but they also share in the abundant harvest of fresh food straight from the producer. The farm can be contacted at castlevalleyfarms@gmail.com, or by calling 435-259-8099.

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It turned out to be a nice day for the annual Castle Valley Spring Cleanup last Saturday, April 5. The valley residents streamed into the cleanup area behind the town hall beginning at 9 a.m. and a fairly steady flow continued until they closed up at 3 p.m.

Personnel from the recycle center in Moab were also there to help keep recyclable items out of the landfill by collecting those items during the day. They seemed to also have a steady flow of people at their station as well. They left with full loads of material.

Castle Valley Fire Department members set up a table to give out Firewise material as a reminder of what can be done to defend property against wildfires during this upcoming fire season. They were also taking names for those who want to sign up to have the tree and limb chipper visit their property, which is scheduled for May 5.

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Twenty-five years ago this week, the Castle Valley River Ranchos Property Owner’s Association announced that the annual spring cleanup day was to be held April 28 that year. “The Grand County Road Department will once again furnish the equipment needed to load and remove the unwanted material,” according to this column. Back then, the county road department would bring out a loader to scoop up the material at the end of the driveway and dump it into one of several dump trucks to be hauled away.

In other business of the POA that year, the board of directors proposed an amendment that would deny voting privileges to those who were more than one year behind on their dues and to charge interest for past dues. The amendment was the result of an effort to receive the yearly dues more promptly so money was available for road maintenance and other projects.

Action of the Castle Valley Town Council included issuing a conditional use permit to the new managers of the Sistalita Bed and Breakfast (now the Castle Valley Inn). Mayor Marguerite Sweeney also asked residents at the meeting to not use the dumpster located at Lions Park, next to the river bridge. The park manager complained to the Grand County Commissioners.

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