Thursday, April 24, 2008

Community Supported Agriculture.

This week Sam and I mailed in our check to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. If you are not familiar with the concept of Community Supported Agriculture, it is a program to connect local farmers with their local populace in order to distribute locally produced, seasonal, family-farm-grown vegetables. Basically, it means good for you, good for your community food.

Being part of a CSA is a great way to eat local and organic, support the local economy, and be healthy. Joining the program feels like knocking out three resolutions at once! Bon Appétit magazine recently published a good article about CSA programs (complete with pictures), that served as my inspiration for locating a local farm.

The article describes the benefits of the program in words better than I can:
"Here's how it works: Find a CSA farm in your area ( is a good place to start), pay them a fee for the season, and each week or so, you'll get a box brimming with that week's harvest. It's kind of like Grocery Shopping: The Reality Show. You're not going to get tomatoes or asparagus year-round. The selection varies from region to region and from farm to farm; consumers make a commitment to buy exactly what is produced; and it provides great lessons in seasonality and supply and demand. One of the best things about subscribing to a CSA is that you'll inevitably end up with ingredients you've never thought to buy or cook."

I LOVE that they describe the program as a reality show of grocery shopping! You can view details about our CSA program by visiting the Scott Arbor Farms website. The Summer Season will run from the middle of May through the middle of August. The Summer Season is 12 weeks long, and the summer vegetables expected to be featured include: Pickling Cucumbers, Yellow Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, Red Bell Peppers, Fresh Cut Basil, Zucchini Squash, Summer Spinach, Okra, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes, Burpless Cucumbers, Sugar Pumpkins, Eggplants, Orange Bell Peppers, Purple Ruffle Basil, Butter Scallop Squash, Yellow Bell Peppers, Jalapeño Peppers, Cantaloupe, Purple Bell Peppers, Tatumi Squash, Sweet Italian Peppers, Green and Purple Yardlong Beans, Shallots, Onions and Garlic.

I am looking forward to the experience of cooking what is available. I mean, how good does sautéed greens with cannellini beans and garlic or fish fillets in parchment with asparagus and orange sound for dinner, especially when it comes with a heaping side of environmental and economic sustainability? I think I will serve the meal with a big does of local support for dessert. Mmmm mmmm good.

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