International Rescue Committee (IRC)

IRC Community Supported Agriculture - CSA

***** The CSA is currently not accepting new members. ***************

IRC’s Local, Sustainable CSA (community supported agriculture) Produce Bag -
Do Good by Eating Well!

Join any time and start your subscription to good health! (with only a five week commitment!)
• Receive a weekly bag of locally-grown, chemical-free produce hand-picked fresh for you! Bi-weekly option also available
• Enjoy great value and convenience!
• Directly help a refugee farmer in San Diego!

The IRC in San Diego’s popular CSA Produce Bag brings you weekly deliveries of local, sustainably-grown produce handpicked fresh for you by refugee farmers eager to rebuild their lives in the US through the IRC’s Agripreneur Training Program (ATP).  (Bi-weekly option also available).

What is a CSA?
A CSA is a way for you to support local farmers, invest in your health, and help the environment! When you purchase a weekly bag, you will receive a portion of a local farmer’s harvest that has been grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Both you and the produce in your bag skip the step of making an extra trip to the grocery store!

The produce in IRC’s CSA Weekly Produce Bag all comes from the participants in the IRC’s sustainable agriculture training program for refugees. Occasionally, produce items not grown in the program (like orchard fruits), are added from other local, small-scale farms.

It’s a fabulous way to do good while eating well.

IRC’s refugee-grown produce is top-notch, as attested by San Diego’s leading chefs, who buy every week for their restaurants (Terra Bistro, Starlite, Tiger!Tiger!, Red Door, etc.). IRC also sells the produce to Whole Foods Market!

How does this work? 
1) Decide what size bag you want: Abundant or Generous
2) Determine pick-up location of your choice (see below)
3) Sign up
3) Pick up your produce!

How much does it cost? 
• Some call it "large" - we call it "Abundant": Family/friends (average of 12 items/week): $25
• Some call it "small" - we call it "Generous ": Individual/Couple (average of 8 items/week): $20 
• If you sign up for 10 or 15 weeks at a time, you get an automatic, built-in discount!

What do other people think about this?
This is what current produce bag subscribers say:
• "My husband is a chef; he is really impressed by how fresh everything is."
• "The watermelon last week was wonderful - best I've had all year!"
• "We love what we've gotten. We just ate some string beans tonight, delish!"
• "As someone who purchases healthy mostly-organic food every week from local stores and farmers' markets, I can't believe the quality and tastiness of our produce bag food."

When and where are the pick-up locations?
Choose from these convenient pick-up locations:

IRC office in City Heights
3:30 – 5pm

5348 University Avenue
Suite 115
San Diego, CA 92105 
Tiger! Tiger! Tavern
(North Park)

6pm to midnight
3025 El Cajon Blvd 
San Diego, CA 92104

Whole Foods Market Hillcrest
5:30 to 9pm
711 University Ave
San Diego, CA  92103
(customer service desk)

There will be no delivery during the following weeks:
  -Independence Day week
  -Labor Day week
  -Thanksgiving Week
  -Last and first weeks of the year

What if I don’t need this many vegetables each week?
You can share your bag. You pick up one week, your friend the next, and so on. Or opt for the small bag. And you can always can, freeze, or juice any leftovers.

If you prefer bi-weekly pick-up, please contact or call +1 619 641 7510, x263.

Is the produce organic?
The produce is grown with all natural inputs and sustainable farming methods that are essentially identical to those used in organic farming. Organic certification is extremely costly and by law produce that is not certified or registered as organic cannot be referred to as such. You can rest assured though that your vegetables will have never been in contact with any synthetic fertilizer, chemical pesticides or other harmful substances.

What to expect fresh from the farm every week: 
You will get your produce directly from the farm at the peak of its ripeness. What exactly will be in your bag changes from week to week and depends on what’s in season. The cooler winter months favor the luscious leafy greens and rad root crops, while the spring will bring more crispy peas and delightful lettuces. Summer’s favorites are always the tasty tomatoes and excellent eggplant, not to mention melons and squashes. The fall will add pumpkins and other specialties into the colorful mix, so that your bag will be well balanced every week.

Where is the produce grown?
The produce is grown as part of the IRC in San Diego’s Agropreneur Training Program (ATP). ATP is a hands-on beginning farmer training program to assist refugees in farming as a business. ATP participants receive classroom, field-based training and 1-on-1 technical assistance in farm business planning, marketing, production and land acquisition. The main farm training site is located on an 80-acre farm in the beautiful Pauma Valley, with several smaller-scale training sites in urban San Diego. Occasionally, you will also receive fruit fresh off the tree from other local (within San Diego County), small-scale farmers.

Who are the farmers?
Your produce will be grown by refugees participating in ATP. One group of eleven women farm collectively as “Bahati Mamas Produce.” They are Bantu refugees who were displaced from their farming homes by the brutal civil war in Somalia. After nearly 17 years in the uncertainty of refugee camps, the “Mamas” were given a chance to start over in the US. Many of them are single mothers who lost their husbands to the violence in Somalia. Through enormous tenacity and perseverance, they built new lives for themselves and their children, once again on the foundation of farming. In their native language, Kizigua, “bahati” means “lucky.” The “Bahati Mamas” consider themselves lucky to have this opportunity and are committed to bringing you the finest quality produce.

The other farmers hail from Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Bhutan, Congo, Iraq, Uganda and Uzbekistan. Most of them have been life-long farmers as well who strive to rebuild productive lives in their new communities. The weekly produce bag program provides them with an opportunity to have a secure market for the wonderful produce they grow and harvest and to provide an income for themselves and their families.

How does this benefit the farmers?
By joining the IRC’s Refugee Farmers Weekly Produce Bag program, you help the farmers reduce the time necessary for marketing their produce, allowing them to focus on farming, and ensure they get paid fairly and on time.

How does this benefit me?
By joining the CSA weekly produce bag program, you will get to eat food at its very freshest, most flavorful and nutrient dense. You will also learn about new vegetables and inspiring ways to prepare them. You will also have an opportunity to visit the farm and get to know the farmers who grow your food. Plus, you will enjoy the good conscience of eating a chemical-free diet while supporting refugees who are rebuilding productive lives for themselves and their families.

How do I sign up?

For more information, please contact or +1 619 641 7510 x263.

Back to the New Roots Food Hub.

Learn more about IRC's Food and Farming Programs in San Diego.

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