I am ridiculously excited about my CSA shares for 2013 – every year I mean to sign up for a share or two, and every year it completely slips my mind until after tax season, at which point it’s usually too late. This year an article in the local paper reminded me and I actually remembered to follow through with it – my mom and I went to the CSA fair at the Agricultural Center this week to meet the farmers and see what options were available, and between us we selected two to try this year. Our plan was to get shares from two different farms or co-ops so we could compare and get a little variety, and we’ll split the goods and cost so we each essentially have two half-shares. Next year we’ll either stick with one or both of the ones we tried or we’ll try new ones, depending on our experiences with the ones we picked for this year (I have a good feeling about them, though).
We met farmers from several different farms, including some that were meat-inclusive or meat-only, but we ended up choosing shares that highlight produce because fresh, local produce is what we really want to have a variety of this summer. We went with Springhouse Farm, a certified organic farm, for a full produce share, and with High Country CSA, a co-op of farms and farmers who grow organically but are not necessarily certified, for a variety share that includes produce as well as locally produced items such as cheeses, breads, and honey. We decided that now that we know the local farms that sell pasture-raised, organic meats, we can plan to place our meat orders with them on an as-needed basis so that we can control the quantity and pick the cuts of meat we need. Since I’ll be picking up at least one of our CSA shares at the farmer’s market, I can also just buy any meat or extra produce we need on those days straight from the market stalls.
You don’t even know how excited I am about getting boxes of local, fresh, organic produce every week – the growing season is so short up here that even in summer, most vegetables in the super market come from Mexico or California and rarely have much flavor. Getting produce that is grown locally on small farms that choose their varieties by taste rather than shelf-life is going to be a huge treat, and I love the ‘grab bag’ aspect of it that will force me to try new things and encourage me to experiment with new ways of cooking familiar things. Hopefully this will provide much blog fodder, as well.
[bounces up and down in chair with excitement] I feel like a kid at Christmas – it’s so cruel that I have to wait until May to reap the benefits of my newly-purchased CSA shares!