putting my money where my mouth is

Yick. That sounds gross. I will not actually be eating money, or putting any in my mouth. But I will be eating lots and lots of other green stuff.

I’ve taken the produce plunge and signed up for a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) share. This means that I’ve paid a subscription¹ price to get regular assortments of freshly harvested vegetables from a local farm. In doing so, we’re not only going to be getting lots of really good, seriously fresh vegetables, we’re supporting a local organic farmer in her efforts to farm sustainably.

I’d been planning to try to buy more local produce this year, and was thinking of making trips to some local farmstands rather than forking over my usual baskets of money to Whole Foods. However, when I came across a post at Can we kick the bar here? about CSAs a few weeks ago, I realized that this could be something for me. I followed the link to look for CSA opportunities near me.²

I’d heard of CSAs before (though hadn’t retained the name of them) from my sister, who knows a thing or two about vegetables (especially about cooking them). A friend of hers had signed on to a CSA a few years ago, and started a blog to chronicle her vegetable adventures: Vegetablog. But somehow, it didn’t sink in as something I wanted do until I read that other post.

So, tomorrow, we start. We’ll head out to the farm and collect our veggies. Then will come the trickier part.

I realize that I’m in for a big challenge. For me, for the past few years, cooking has usually involved throwing some brown rice in the rice cooker. That’s when I’m getting more complicated than a bowl of cereal. I’ve gotten a bit better with making food for Phoebe, and have regularly steamed up vegetables for her. But this endeavor will be big. Big. I do have a plan, though. I’m hoping to have friends over for dinner at least every couple of weeks to help us eat our vegetables. And what we can’t finish off, I’ll hopefully be able to pawn off on my guests. Every dinner guest can take home a head of lettuce or a parsnip as a parting gift.³


¹ Oops, almost typed prescription. “I’m sorry, those vegetable are not sold over the counter.”

² I’d also like to share that I came across that post by way of reading the last round up of Just Posts. So I’d like to offer this up as evidence that writing about issues that matter to you can make a difference.

³ So, if you are a local friend, you’ll be hearing from me soon about getting over here to get your veggies on. If you are a long-distance friend, and planning on travelling to New England in the next few months, you also get an invitation.

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11 thoughts on “putting my money where my mouth is

  1. I think I saw a documentary about CSA farming a while back. Is it basically where you pay upfront as a share of the farm, and then receive a boxload of fresh, organic and local produce each fortnight or so? The doco I saw also had people voluntarily going to the farm on some weekends to help with harvesting, packing and generally, with the entire farming process.

    It sounds and looks fantastic. The farmer in this doco was under serious financial strain from the ‘free’-market and was about to go under when he gave this a shot. He’s since expanded multiply and grows more and more (and has more and more customers) each season.

  2. I think it’s time to start exploring epicurious…I love roasted vegetables at high eat with only olive oil and kosher salt. And think of the regularity! Very cool.

  3. Jangari-
    Yeah, CSAs work along the lines you describe. For the one I’ve subscribed to, I’ve paid a lump sum for the whole growing season, and then I get to pick up my haul each week. (Or twice a fortnight, as it were.) It does seem like a very cool deal, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy in a socially responsible sort of way.
    WOOHOO, indeed! (Dude.)
    Okay, I’ll check out epicurious. The roasted idea sounds good. (Though I may steer clear on the hot, muggy days that we’re sure to have. I often avoid using the oven in the summer.)
    Me tagged. (Me also tired. Me go to bed now.)

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