In this episode we speak with Karyn Levin of the non-profit Global Gardens of Boise, who have been operating in the Valley for almost 20 years. Global Gardens promotes community supported agriculture, or CSA. What that means is connecting small local farmers directly to the consumer through a vegetable subscription service. The unique thing about how they do it is that the farmers they focus on are refugees who have expertise in farming. Global Gardens helps them find land to purchase, borrow, or lease; offers them coaching and resources to run their businesses; and connects them directly to the community to sell their harvests, either through the CSA, at local farmers markets, or directly to local restaurants. The end result for the community member is a basket of fresh vegetables that you pick up weekly for the entire summer. They really seem to offer a great service that supports local business and the community.
In addition to their support for farmers, they run a huge community garden program for family gardeners, host educational farm visits from schools, help provide local childcare centers with fresh produce, and find ways to divert excess produce to underserved communities around the Valley.
It was interesting speaking with Karyn and learning how the organization works; what support really looks like to all parties; and how to get access to fresh, healthy, pesticide-free, farm-to-table produce on a regular basis.