For 2019, the Grist Mill and Gardens will be bringing back its popular Pantry Share program, giving you the opportunity to fill your pantry with delicious scratch-made provisions including pickles, jams, jellies, chutneys, mustards and more.
How does it work?
You sign up for your share by February 28th, 2019 and we use that money to invest in our own gardens, contract local farmers for a portion of their crop, buy jars and other ingredients. Then, as local fruit, veggies and flowers come into season, we turn them into a variety of delicious preserves for you. Depending on where you live, you’ll have a number of pick-up opportunities through the season–everything you pick-up will draw down on the balance on your share at a rate of 20% off our retail prices. Generally, we’ll select half of the preserves in your share and you’ll select the other half. At each pick-up, there will also be a swap box for any products we’ve included that you know you won’t be interested in. If there is any outstanding balance in your share at the end of the season, we will donate that value of product to our local food bank.
- A pantry full of products made from peak-of-the-season ingredients
Because the ingredients come from our own heritage gardens or the gardens and orchards of our neighbours, there’s no need to pick soft fruit early for shipping or store produce for long periods in a cooler. It’s picked when it’s ripe and processed right away to preserve its flavour and essential goodness.
- We love to share no-longer-familiar ingredients in wonderfully old-fashioned recipies
We have a large seed collection of rare and unusual heritage veggies as well as more than sixty heritage apple trees on site, and we love to use each ingredient to its best advantage. We also know where to track down hard-to-find items like quince, sour cherries and more.
- A discount from our retail prices
In appreciation for your up-front contribution, we will extend a 20% discount off the retail price of our products to share members.
- Access to exclusive small-batch products
Every year, we experiment with all sorts of unusual and old-fashioned recipes. Pantry Share members will get exclusive access to these treasures. (In 2018, those small-batch products included tomato jam, dandelion marmalade, lilac jelly, watermelon rind pickles and rose petal jam.)
- Supporting the preservation of agricultural heritage and small local farmers
Getting your money before the season allows us to properly invest in our own gardens and contract with local farmers to grow and harvest exactly what we need while they’re still planning for their season. It reduces their costs (and stress level) and helps us make sure we get exactly what we need, when we need it. Best of all, we aim to be as transparent as we can about the farmers we’re working with and the positive impact our pantry share has on their operation.
What will I get with my Pantry Share membership?
Every season, we make a wide range of preserves and related food products and you’ll have access to all them as part of your share. For every $100 in your share, you can expect to receive an average of ten jars (125mL jars for jellies, 500mL and 1L for pickles, and 250mL for almost anything else) of product across all of our kinds of products.
Below you’ll see some of the many products we made in 2017 and 2018:
Anything Else I Should Know?
- This Pantry Share program is inspired by other CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), particularly the farm box programs here in the Similkameen Valley, as well as Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery in Vancouver. We firmly believe in connecting people with where their food comes from.
- Buying a share gives you a voice when we’re planning our preserves for 2019; if there’s something in particular you think we should make for your pantry, you’ll have lots of chance to give us your input. If you have a favourite recipe, we’d love that too!
- If you find you’re going through your share faster than expected, you can always top-up your share with more money at any time, although money added after Feb 28th, 2019 will only get a 10% discount off retail instead of 20%.
- The preserves available at each pick-up will be determined by what has been seasonably-available up to that point. You won’t see peaches or apples until fall, for example. See the chart below for a rough idea of what’s available to us when.
We’re really excited about continuing this project and hope you’ll be a part of it!