While we are back inside for the time being I am spending time researching local CSAs (community supported agriculture). Last summer we bought a half share from Little Ridge Farm that is near where my husband works. I never went to the farm. He would simply come home with the boxes of produce on Friday evenings. It was a little like a foodie Christmas every Friday.
This summer we are doing the same half share from that farm but also buying a credit from another farm, Rippling Waters. I want to take the kids. I want them to see where our food comes from and who grows it. I would like them to have a respect for the food they eat that I think can only come from either growing it ourselves or through a CSA. I enjoy playing in my gardens and growing flowers but I think it is best that I leave growing the vegetables to the experts or we could all come down with a mean case of scurvy and that's not really what we're aiming for.
The CSA near my husband's work is one where I take what I get every week. The second one we have signed up for I can go and shop at their farm stand and supplement what comes from the other CSA or what we simply want more of.
We also are looking into locally raised organic pork. Last year we purchased a quarter cow from a Sebago Lake Ranch and have been very pleased with the cost, quality, and taste. It was our first foray into bulk meat and it has been a great experience. While not certified organic it is grass fed and hormone and antibiotic free, which were my main concerns.
Why buy your vegetables from a CSA? There are so many reason and here are some that I feel strongly about, in no particular order.
- the food is grown locally which means it is fresher when I get it and doesn't need to be trucked across the country creating all the pollution that comes with the transportation.
- we are supporting local farmers.
- organic vegetables. While not all CSA farms are not certified organic the ones we are using are.
- as I stated above, we can all get a great appreciation and respect for the food we eat and the people who grow it.
And the cherry on top is that the farm stand is near a river where I can take the kids swimming and have picnic lunches on lazy summer afternoons...which on a snowy Tuesday in March I am really looking forward to.
So, this is what I have been spending my time doing while Mother Nature throws one last bit of winter our way. I have been cozy on the couch by the wood stove dreaming of children running barefoot through the grass and swimming in warm summer rivers and the fresh foods I can prepare for us all summer long.