Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our CSA Farmers

If you aren't familiar with the concept of the CSA, it is a farmer who participates in Community Supported Agriculture (hence, CSA).  Basically, we pay in with other members at the start of the farming season, and over the course of the spring/summer/fall we get our "share."  For our farm, the season is 20 weeks long, so we are going to be getting produce well into the fall months.  Each Saturday morning the three of us pile into the car, flip on NPR and head south to the farm.  We started the season with radishes and piles of spring greens.  It then progressed into summertime produce staples of cukes, tomatoes, peppers, and some sweet corn.  Now they're making the transition into fall plantings...butternut squash, kale, broccoli, more radishes, carrots, sweet potatoes.  It is all so delicious.  By having all the members pay in before they even plant, we shoulder the risk of farming with them (weather/pests/weeds/etc.) and they do all the work.  The best part for us has been the connection we've built with our farmers.  It has been wonderful.  Not to mention the food-delicious!  And the local honey we've gotten used to having around that is thick, minty, herby, and so different that what you'll find in the grocery stores.  I know all three of us look forward each week to our Saturday morning trip.


This weekend when we arrived, Becky was filling our orange trug as the three of us chatted with both her and her husband Don.  I casually asked if they had any more green cherry tomatoes.  (I'd heard the story on NPR the other day about Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen and her recipe for tomolives sounded so yummy I'd been thinking about it ever since)  Without hesitating, Don grabbed a small purple trug and took us straight out to the gardens.  Not only did we get a great tour and conversation about the farming methods they're using this year, but we went down the rows of cherry tomato plants and picked to our heart's content.  Even our three-year old son assisted in the task, announcing each find by calling out "green tow-mato!"  I would guess that we came home with at least two or three pounds of the little gems.  This is just the kind of people our farmers are-they are always asking us (and the other members) what we need, what we're looking for, and doing their best to come through.  It makes us feel so good to be a part of such a great little community that we get to visit each week.  Later this afternoon I'll be making up several batches of the tomolives from the recipe I found on Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen (you'll have to link to the NPR article).  When they're done and cured in the refrigerator I'll let you know how they came out.  I'm sure that they'll be a great addition to our savory early-fall dishes!


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