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Ooooby: A CSA-Style Food Box For Central California

Ezra David Romero
Valley Public Radio

A new Fresno organization has joined forces with one of the state’s organic food pioneers to launch a new food box program for the valley. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
Kiel Schmidt has worked on food related projects in the region for years. Some of the fruits and veggies that he and his brothers grow in backyards across Fresno through Tower Urban Family Farm will be in the boxes as well.

The project known as “Out of Our Own Backyards” or Ooooby, is from the nonprofit Fresno Food Commons. Kiel Schmidt is with the group that is launching the new community supported agriculture box, also known as a CSA. 

SCHMIDT: “This week we served red leaf lettuce, table carrots, nectarines and peaches. We also had red onions, all organic.”

The group recently bought the long-running food box program from Madera based T&D Willey Farms which has over 600 subscribers. Ooooby plans to continue to serve existing subscribers and to expand the box program into lower income areas of Fresno. 

SCHMIDT: “There’s 12 food deserts in Fresno County. Those are neighborhoods that don’t have easily accessible fresh produce say at a grocery store or at a farmers market. We’re trying to flip that on its head.”

Tom Willey says he sold the CSA because he was ready to pass the baton on to a younger generation. He will still provide produce for the boxes. 

WILLEY: “We’re very excited to hand it off to a community based organization that is very visionary and has ideas of taking it way further and beyond than what we can do as an individual farm.”

The fruits, vegetables and eggs in the boxes come from farms and backyard gardens in the Valley.  In the new program people can choose from a box for $16.00 or $21.00 online and can be picked up at 23 locations in Clovis, Fresno, Reedley, Madera, Merced and Oakhurst. 

For more information on Ooooby visit the groups site at www.ooooby.org/fresno.


Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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