My family joined a CSA several years ago. A CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a program where you buy a share of a farm’s produce at the start of the season and then get boxes of goodies (a share of the harvest) throughout the season. If the farm has a good season, so do you; but if the farm has a bad season, so do you. I love the idea of supporting a local farm this way, but our first attempt didn’t work out. The program had started out strong, with a month of solid produce, beautiful cut flowers, and some fun family time visiting and working on the farm. We tried a lot of veggies that we had never heard of before and learned a bit about how a farm operates. But then the couple running the place ran out of steam and stopped caring for their fields entirely. By August, our weekly box of treasures was replaced with a wave of the hand and an invitation to go take whatever we could find in the field among the weeds and tomatoes rotting on the vine. This was not how a CSA should function.
Despite this previous negative experience, I remained hopeful that we would someday find a more professional farm that ran a CSA program with pickups close enough to home to work. Then a few months ago my local health food store, Dean’s, announced that they were partnering with Honey Brook Organic Farm to provide CSA pickup and their store. This was an announcement I had been hoping to hear for years, so I jumped on it, sending in an application that very day.
Today I picked up my first box, and it is beautiful:
In there we have rainbow chard, spinach, kale, red leaf lettuce, garlic scapes, leeks, and Hakurei turnips. I’m not sure what those last ones are about yet, but the rest I’ve worked with before and look forward to playing with this week. As I cook these goodies up this week, I’ll share the results here! So far I’m thinking about a lentil soup with the turnips and leeks, a raw salad with the chard, and a pesto with the scapes.
To find a CSA near you, visit Local Harvest.