. . . the CSA! (Community Supported Agriculture) CSAs are "a way for consumers and farmers to share the benefits and risks of sustainable agriculture. Each growing season, members pay a pre-determined price up front to support the farm. This price is based on the running costs of the farm divided by the number of households the farm can feed, without over-taxing the resources of the farm. In return for their investment, members receive a weekly supply of fresh, organic produce. Shareholders and farmers thus become partners in the stewardship of the Earth's fertility and in the production, distribution, and consumption of locally-grown food" (www.rootsfarm.org).
Yesterday I received my first CSA share from Roots Farm, and take a look at all of the amazing stuff it included!
|Purple beans, three varieties of eggplant, an assortment of hot and sweet peppers of all shapes and sizes, arugula, basil, okra, and two pounds worth of tomato varieties|
I love being a member of a CSA because I'm partnering more closely with the farmers, sharing in both the abundances and scarcities of the harvest. It's a great way to experiment with new ingredients and try new foods. I would never go to the farmers market and buy that many peppers or that much okra, but now that I have it, I'm determined to use every last bit! It fosters variety and creativity in the kitchen, which is not only fun, but healthy too! Tonight I'll be trying this okra gumbo, with the majority of the ingredients coming from my share! (To find CSAs in your area, check out www.localharvest.org.)