So, I have been wanting to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share for the past few years but could not get my head wrapped around the concept and how to do it. My dear canning friend has been doing it for years and raved about it. (We have canned together the past two years. Our first year was tomatoes and once we managed to survive a year on canned tomatoes without giving ourselves and family botulism. So we did tomatoes again this next year and got really wild: we canned applesauce too. Gotta live life on the wild side, I say). Anyway, I digress. Back to CSA.
I researched it over the winter and found a farm in Maryland that was offering shares. I signed up figuring my own home harvest could use a boost. Of course that was before we got the Community Garden plot a few weeks back but now I figure that between my home, CSA and community garden plot vegetables, I will be the canning and freezing maven of Takoma Park, not to mention the creative cooking queen trying out innovative recipes to use whatever nature deems we are worthy of harvesting from my home and community garden plots/getting from the CSA that week.
What you ask is Community Supported Agriculture? It is a way for us to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer in our area. In short, the farmer offers “shares” to the community. The share is usually a box of vegetables and you pay a seasonal fee for the share and delivery. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share and in return receive a box of produce each week throughout the farming season.
Today my first CSA share arrived. I had totally forgot it was coming. So much going on in my peace work and peas work, I am just resorting to taking things as they come and doing the best I can. Anyway, Patrick and Calvin had left the house to walk Calvin’s friend Lila back to her house after an afternoon and dinner playdate (and leaving me with playdate fallout: a house that now looks like a small army of children have laid waste to it). So when I heard a knock on the door, in my most frumpy men’s boxer shorts and way past its prime tank top self, I opened the door thinking it was my family. Instead, it was the CSA farmer. He caught me off guard and I was less than articulate in my conversation with him. So in addition to him probably thinking I have zero fashion sense, he probably thinks I am a woman of few words.
The farmer and I chatted as he glanced but did not comment on all my seedlings on the porch. He left and I eagerly looked at this week’s CSA bounty. It then became clear why my whimpy little seedlings did not so much as prompt a verbal comment from him. He delivered life size produce to me! How did he do that??!!! He lives in Maryland too. He had to have suffered from the very wet and cold Spring. But he delivered real life size vegetables. For a minute I got suspicious and wondered if he stopped at Whole Foods before he came by my house. Of course I quickly realized that was crazy talk and just my gardener envy that was coming out.
So, my first CSA bounty includes eggs, beets, leeks, asparagus, green onions and lettuce. Let the cooking begin!