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Monday, April 25, 2011

Like a Kid at Christmas

This post has nothing to do with writing.

Do you remember what the holidays were like when you were six? When you were still young enough to be oblivious to all the holiday stress, and immune to holiday crud that everyone else had?

I remember waking up Christmas morning and rushing out to see a great big orange plastic sled under the tree. I don't recall what else I got that year. I didn't care that it cost $1 at the local grocery store. It was my sled, with my name on it, and that's all that mattered. I loved that sled.

Today I'm almost as excited. I'm bouncing in my chair, checking my phone, and waiting for the call telling me that the first farm box of the season is in.


Okay, I'll let you puzzle out why I'm screaming like a fangrrl for anything other than a full request/auction/6 figure deal.

I belong to the CSA. No, that's not the LDS or the SDA or the YMPA (gold star if you know all those without peeking). The CSA is COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE, a farm co-op.

I'm trapped in a city. There's my not so tiny apartment, a strip of parking lot and trees, and a six-lane highway, but no room for a garden. An hour away there's rolling farmland, a farmer, and the need for some cash investment to buy seeds and pay taxes. The CSA farm takes cash in advance and delivers a share of the harvest every week to everyone who paid in.

For my family of five we wind up paying about $30 a week with no promise of return.

This is what has me bouncing in my seat. I don't *know* what I'm going to get. I don't know how the harvest has gone. I've never co-oped with this farm before. The beguiling stories of my friend's CSA harvests with their tons of blueberries and three year supply of strawberries have me drooling.

But I suppose aliens could have invaded and burnt the farm to a crisp. Anything could happen (darn Vogons!).

The CSA farm lets me eat local produce (better for the environment and my taste buds). It means I get to support a local company/family. It means the land won't be turned into another used car dealership. It means someone does the bulk of my grocery shopping for me.

What's not to love? The best news? It's not to late to get involved. Check the map on Local Harvest and see if there's a farm co-op or CSA near you!

And if the aliens ate all my strawberries? Well, considering that last week I spent $42 for ingredients for a fruit salad that lasted an hour at a three-family picnic, $30 a week is cheap. During the summer months the bulk of our grocery bill is fresh produce. Even if I only get zucchini I'll save some money at the store.

Not so sure about okra though. What do you do with okra?


  1. I love this type of thing! I'm not doing it currently, but I can't wait until my small town's farmer's market opens up for the summer. Then I can say goodbye to produce from the store for several months!

  2. Succotash. Anything southern. Okra is a big southern ingredient. Look at Creole and Cajun dishes.

  3. Mmm, okra is best deep fried, just like everything else. ;)

    I applaud you for doing this! I'm sure your local farmers really appreciate the support of people who sign up for the co-op. And you're helping ensure that a traditional way of life stays viable for those farmers.

    Not to mention, you're feeding your family quality produce. They may not thank you now, but I bet they'll thank you later. :)

  4. I have the box and it's huge! The kids are eating raw turnips dipped in ranch dressing. I feel like that deserves and evil laugh. I've corrupted a whole generation.

    Plus, there's a farmer's market opening next week a few miles away. If I don't get enough veggies from the farm I can stock up there.

    *bounces with glee*

    When does peach season start?

  5. Scott- After you taste farm fresh it's hard to go back. Store bought isn't the same at all.

    Stephanie - I really did think succotash was a kind of squash until a few years ago. *blushes*

    Tere- I might convince the family to try it deep fried. My hard sell is actually DH, a boy born in the apple orchards up north who is slow to try any new food.

  6. This is something my wife and I have been considering for a while. Though we also just moved and now are minutes away from the big weekly farmer's market in the city.