Monday, March 22, 2010

CSA Season is near!

Ahhh...Spring. The time of year for rejuvenation, to start fresh, to plant seeds and prepare to watch the magic.

Yesterday, Josh and I were in our backyard clearing away the remnants from last season, and discovered the tips of eager hostas, tiger lillies, wild onions, and other amazing garden fare that although were hidden under the brush and a recently melted blanket of snow, were definitely not forgotten.

We cleared the herb garden where I caught the scent of fresh thyme. The earthy scent made me excited to once again walk outside to gather fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.

If I only had the space to grow more!

And that, my friends, is where the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program comes in handy.

A CSA is a farm share, and provides individual families the opportunity to partner with local farmers. You become a member of a CSA by purchasing a share of the farm's harvest and in turn, receive 18 weeks of fresh, organic produce throughout the growing season (June through September) that is typically delivered on a weekly basis to a local drop site.

Costing between $500-$700 per full share (some farms offer half shares for half the cost) that will feed a family of four, you will receive a wide variety of produce depending on your chosen farm's offering. Typical produce, by season, includes,

Spring: Kale, Broccoli, Lettuce, Bunching Onions, Radishes, Spinach, Salad Mix, Swiss Chard, Sugar Peas, Collards.

Summer: Basil, Beets, Bell Peppers, Cabbage, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Flowers, Melons, Garlic, Green Beans, Jalapenos, Leeks, Lettuce, Bulb Onons, Parsley, Potato, Sugar Peas, Specialty Peppers, Summer Squash, Sweet Corn, Roma Tomatoes, Zucchini,Turnips, Parsnips.

Fall: Basil, Beets, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts,Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cilantro, Eggpant, Leeks, Lettuce, Storage Onions, Parsley, Pie Pumpkin, Potato, Radishes, Spinach, Winter Squash, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potato, Swiss Chard, Heirloom Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini, Kohlrabi, Kale, Collards.

Not only is this a great way to incorporate more fresh produce into your diet, it also supports your local farmers that will in turn, support your community. Plus, you get to experiment with new recipes and find fun things to do with kohlrabi, collards, and bok choy!

For a CSA near you, visit the Local Harvest Website, an organization that has compiled a nationwide directory of small farms, farmers markets and other local sources of sustainably grown food.

Stay tuned this summer for weekly installments of fun and creative recipes inspired from my CSA!

Happy Spring!


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