Rocking in the CSA

Noah is jazzed about the upcoming party in his belly…

You would be, too, if your family just became proud owners of a small share in the Colvin Family Farm’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for the 2011 harvest season (May-October)!

There were several options, surprisingly, in the 100-mile radius of our bustling metropolis. I researched most of them from what I could find – they are farmers, not internet gurus – and there was something about this simple family (if you can count having thirteen children as simple) that I was drawn to, that I could relate to (give or take twelve children), that I could appreciate.

A few things that I deemed important that set them apart:

  • More convenient pick-up location – about thirty-five miles rather than sixty.
  • Maw Colvin provides recipes for the goods in the box each week – now I will know what to do with three pounds of parsnip and arugula.
  • All of the children are an integral part of their family business. We eat well because of them, they eat well because of families like us. It’s a win-win.
  • The farm hosts various events where their CSA members can come out to the farm, meet them, feel the dirt under our boots, put a face and a handshake to a name, take hold of a unique situation and nurture the relationship of farmer-locavore.

With our cow being ready sometime this month, the CSA, Farmer Joe down the road, fresh breads made at home, the chickens, & our non-chemical cleaning supplies – our monthly grocery bill will be cut in half by our projections. Sure, there are start-up costs and care for the birds, upfront payments for both the cow & farm, and bulk orders for various herbs and plants – but the improvement in our family’s health and lifestyle and the relief – though small it may seem – on the earth’s resources is worth every penny, whether it’s more or less pennies in the long run. Though the beauty and reality is that we have more pennies at the end of the day to put toward other things. Good things. Good people doing good things.

So…between now and harvest season my plan is to collect recipes, stock up on canning supplies, find a second-hand pressure cooker, start seeds for our garden, build our chicken coop, and make new friends to invite over to share in our bounty. Here is your official invitation, friends, to join us for a meal this summer/fall – just give me a day’s warning and bring your favorite dessert.

If you are interested in finding a CSA in your area, please visit Local Harvest. You will find information there about CSA, farmers’ markets, local produce, and a host of resources to help navigate your decision.

Local agriculture – it’s the new black.

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