Merville Organics is a food grower cooperative made up of several Comox Valley farms including Amara Farm, Ripple Farm, and Kloverdalen Farm. Their focus is producing and distributing deliciously fresh, organic, and transitional produce.
Farming challenges brought food activist and organic food advocate Arzeena Hamir together with grower Moss Dance to collaborate, and they eventually formed and incorporated Merville Organics. Their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program has grown from 17 shares to 120 shares in just a few years.
The farmers work together and lend support whenever necessary, whether it’s helping another farm make the transition to organic, sharing resources, or picking up the slack if a crop failure occurs.
“As new farmers we are so grateful for the generous spirit of the co-op. They are there to support and develop our skills and help us increase sustainability in the Valley. We are so grateful to work with such an encouraging and knowledgeable team,” say new farmers Mariette Sluyter and Brian Padlewski.
The cooperative’s demand and supply system of growing and distribution ensures that they have the capacity to deliver the variety of quality produce that their regular customers have committed to purchasing. Besides the climate and other favourable growing conditions, it’s the people of the Comox Valley and their love of locally grown food that helps make Merville Organics work so well.
“We’re growing,” says Arzeena. “Last year, we grew for 90 CSA families and had a wait list of 30 folks, so we put a call out for new farmers. Luckily, we found Mariette and Brian from Whitaker Farm who have joined us for the upcoming season. One of our farmers just transitioned from leasing to purchasing a farm and we welcomed the first Merville Organics baby at the end of 2016.”
Visit the Garlic Festival in Merville, bring the kids, and see what your local growers are up to. Next time you’re at the Farmers Market, say hi to the people at Merville Organics and pick up some of their lovingly grown fruits and vegetables.