Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CSA excitement!

Ben and I have signed up for the mini delivery of Elmwood Stock Farm's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this year. We are very very very excited to be keeping our fresh food intake local, organic, and plentiful. Sometimes the fresh part of our weekly food intake can be missing, and we're hoping this jumpstarts our motivation to keep eating fresh. Salads sometimes seem like such work (I know, I know, how can chopping some things up seem like work? Cooking isn't even involved!), but our thought process is: if we have a certain amount we have to eat each week, we'll be motivated to do it. Because at the end of the week we get more, and we don't want anything to go to waste! We intend to freeze or give away anything that seems beyond plenty for two.

Never heard of CSAs before? Here are some great reasons to join in

Adapted from Monica Goldberg's, "16 Reasons to Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm" 2002, italics=my addition

1. Better flavor: Organic vegetables have a rich and full flavor. That's why many chefs select organic food for their recipes. Since organic farming nourishes the soil, the food nourishes our palates. Better tasting means you'll eat more veggies and eat some that you may not have liked before.
2. More Nutritious: Freshly picked organic produce grown without pesticides and sprays are more nutritious than conventionally grown vegetables.
3. Safer Food: Your produce comes directly from your farmer. No risk of your food getting damaged or spoiled due to long-distance shipping. Most CSA's grow using organic methods. Organic produce is grown without pesticides or sprays. Pesticides are poisons and can be harmful to humans.
4. Save Money: CSA's offer high quality produce at below retail cost. The money goes directly to the farmer instead of paying distributors and trucking companies, and it stays your local economy. We paid, for 4 months of produce (and 1/2 dozen eggs each week) what we would normally pay for 1.5 months!
5. Save Time: You pick up a box or bag of fresh vegetables already packed for you. No shopping hassles. Easy pick up at another member's home or on the farm. Select a convenient drop off site near work or home.
6. Selection: Farmers grow more vegetable varieties than found at the grocery store. You'll enjoy and discover more vegetable varieties than you might otherwise buy.
7. Farmer to Family Connection: A CSA is a relationship between a rural farmer and an urban family. The farm helps bring families to the land. It serves as a rural gathering place for urban families to share together events on the farm.
8. Fun: Experience fun on the farm with harvest festivals, dinners, celebrations, field days, family events and more. And fun picking up your share each week--like a present every time! Not to mention the cooking and eating aspect of fun...
9. Education: You'll learn new things about how and where your food is grown.
10. Less Carbon Footprint! (this one added by me): Every time you support a local business instead of relying on something shipped from far away, think about all the fossil fuels that AREN'T being burned to truck your food/supplies/what-have-you to your door. Also, since the CSA we belong to is organic (I think many are), pesticides (often created from petroleum products) are not used. Yay, planet earth!

Here's what our first share looked like:

On the porch, ready to pick up. Simple, easy as pie.
Upon opening our box

fragrant thyme!

the box sans spinach & eggs: parsnip, asparagus, black beans, young garlic, thyme

Parsnip gives an inquisitive sniff of approval:

a quick and easy recipe included on the weekly letter, feel free to try it!

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