Greg and I are really excited that we've been able to join a CSA this year: Land's Sake Farm in Weston, MA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a model where before the growing season, you can purchase a share of the farm's produce for the upcoming season. They received our money in advance of the season, helping them to purchase seeds and equipment and maintain the farm when they don't have much cash coming in during the winter months. Because they had our money in advance, they could use it when they needed it most, and they knew up front that they'd sold that share of their produce. We help share the risk with the farm, because if it's a slow growing season weather-wise, we'll get less produce for the same amount of money than if it's a wonderful year. (Guess what happens then - a great deal for us!)
I'm excited about our CSA because it's a way to vote with our dollars and help encourage local farming by consuming as much local agriculture as possible. The farm doesn't use any synthetic chemicals, we get produce that was picked only hours before we bring it home, and this food doesn't have to travel thousands of miles before we eat it.
I'm also excited because I'll be getting the most seasonal produce I can, things that are growing well now. While we'll have some choices from week to week, it won't be the same selection we're used to in the grocery store. And I'm excited about that, too. It'll be like when chefs on those food network competitions get a mystery basket and have to cook with all those ingredients - an opportunity to cook with produce I might not normally buy, or combinations I might not be used to. Instead of brainstorming the menu first and shopping second, the ingredients themselves will be my inspiration. What do you do with three different types of leafy greens, or an abundance of peppers, radishes and onions? I'm looking forward to being motivated to try new produce, find new recipes, and maybe have a reason to finally learn how to jar my own preserves when it becomes clear that two adults and a toddler can't eat everything we've gotten. (Of course, it'll be a good reason to share food with friends, too!)
|Our first CSA pickup! We didn't even bring home the arugula!|