By Eva Potter

Local farms have already begun harvesting this year’s crops, and those who enjoy spring shares at Canticle Farm already know about the delicious bounty of this Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, in Allegany, N.Y.

Canticle Farm is a four-season, local farm offering fresh, locally grown produce and locally sourced related products, using Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) principles.

While you don’t have to be a member to purchase from the weekly Canticle Farm Market, it won’t take long before you’re hooked on the taste of super fresh produce and you’re reaching for your pen to fill out a shareholder application. Summer shares are still available.

Yes, it’s easy, cost-effective, convenient and oh so healthy so be a shareholder at Canticle Farm. Summer shares are distributed for 17 weeks from about June 17 into October. That’s a lot of healthy eating! You will enjoy 6–10 vegetables weekly, based on what is in season and available. You can pick up your share at the farm on Tuesdays or Fridays from 2–6 p.m.

Shares may contain items like beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, greens, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, melons, mesclun mix, Napa cabbage, onions, pac choi (Chinese cabbage), peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, shallots, spinach, squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes (heirloom, hybrid, paste, cherry) and turnips.

Pick-your-own crops may include beans, peas, cherry tomatoes, herbs, flowers and soybeans. You can even get locally sourced strawberries and corn! Other local vendors sometimes have cheese, honey, meats and eggs for sale.

Individual shares — enough for one person — start at $190. Family-size shares are available. That’s a bargain for a weekly cornucopia of super fresh, healthy food. You can also choose from participating and non-participating shares. If you think you would enjoy working on the farm, then a participating share is for you. The cost is less because you help with farm chores like fieldwork (picking beans or peas, scuffle hoeing, plant thinning, onion topping), general maintenance (carpentry, painting, equipment repair), special events and active committee work to offset the labor costs. It only takes you a few hours during the entire season for a memorable experience — great for families who want their children to understand where their food comes from!

In exchange for additional volunteer hours, a limited number of partnership shares are also available at a lower rate to families with incomes under $25,000 or who receive Medicaid, SSI or food stamps. Please contact the Canticle Farm office for more information by calling (716) 373-0200, ext. 3358.

Canticle Farm also donates shares to the needy in our area through donations, grants and shares donated by individuals.

Another way to purchase fresh Canticle produce is to visit the REAP (Rural Enterprise Association of Proprietors) Olean Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, May into October, 8 a.m.–1 p.m., in the Jamestown Community College parking lot at 260 N. Union St. (Route 16) — take the entrance with the wrought iron arch. Right now, you can look forward to lettuce mix, mesclun mix, lettuce heads, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccolini petals, poc choi, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, shallots and onions. EBT and debit card processing is accepted by many of the other vendors to make your market purchases more convenient. Ask any vendor at the market for details.

If you only want occasional fresh produce and farm products, then starting June 17, stop on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Farm Market located at 3809 Old State Rd. (Route 417) in Allegany, N.Y. It’s open to the public 2–6 p.m.

Lastly, if you’d rather have someone else cook great tasting, healthy food for you, then visit local restaurants like Ellicottville’s Bike and Bean and Attard’s restaurant in Olean, which use Canticle’s fresh produce when available.

Canticle Farm is located at 3835 South Nine Mile Rd. in Allegany. For more details, visit Canticle Farm on Facebook or at Email or call (716) 373-0200, ext. 3358, to get on their newsletter email list.