The Pro’s and Con’s of Community Supported Agriculture

Picked up my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  Once a week, we will receive local farm veggies and fruit.  I never thought I would be doing this!  Not only does my family receive the sweet bliss of eating fresh produce, and by fresh I mean 3o miles between me and the http://www.redwagonorganicfarm.com/ turnips, not the 1500 miles traveled distance between me and the local big man grocery store’s produce, King Pooper’s  excuse me, I meant to say King Sooper’s.

 We received Hakurei turnips, walking onions, braising mix, and Easter Egg Radishes.  What a beautiful sight.  I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.  I became intimidated by the beauty and unique nature.  Honestly, I have never heard of these things, it was a little weird.  My mind is used to the “conventional” way of food production, it was stimulating to question what I know is not reality but a programmed way of thinking.  People have been growing their own food for years, the current food industry is what is “different.”

The taste testing started, pretty soon all the boys joined in.  Kaleb loved the spiciness of the radishes, I was surprised at the texture, so different than what I have experienced.  Corbin loved the turnips, he ate two right away and thought it was so fun to carry it around the house.  Obadiah grabbed a full walking onion and nibbled on it, he also loved the turnip.

Yummy

What is this?

Yum

The farm sent out a newsletter giving me some tips and a few recipes on how to eat these veggies.  I decided to make a Pesto Cheese Filled Tortelini.  When we think of “Pesto” we think of basil.  Pesto is Italian for “pounded, ground.”  News to me.  Argula it was. Braised some greens in garlic, walking onions, and butter.  Served a salad of walking onions, mixed green, turnips, radishes, and carrots.  With croutons because in my opinion a salad is not a salad unless it has croutons.  One set back, we have to get rid of the Ranch Dressing.  I am so used to it, a habit even, but I know it is bad.

One unexpected feeling looking at the farm grown food is this:

Not gonna fit

My first thought is, “What am I supposed to do with this?  It doesn’t even fit into the “Vegetable Draw.”  I am putting nature in a box.  To expect it to be a certain size, is not how I should see it.

The idea to physically alter something to make it consistent and predictable is odd.  When this walking onion grew, it was not thinking of a price, there was no selfishness in its growth.  It was created to be something that nourished others and didn’t put a price on value.   Nature is not looking to exploit us, but to work with one another in harmony, to give something nourishing to our bodies.

For the first time I understood that I have not given food and its source respect, I have been ignorant of organic food and lacked the appreciation for it.  My main setback in organic farming is, well what if I want strawberries in the wrong season…I want them, so I will buy them at the store.  My demand gets filled.  Is there character building in living as a farmer, not demanding what is not available to us, to be content in the seasons of life.? All these thoughts led to this:

The Pro’s of CSA:

  • Support a local farm and family
  • Not large corporation orientated: this is not to be against large corporations but mainly considering all the labor and resources it took to provide this luxury
  • It is fresh and nutritious
  • I know my food was grown in love and a lot of hard work
  • My kids and hubby loved it
  • I love it
The Con’s of CSA:
  • Eat seasonally (poor me that I have to learn how to restrain myself)
  • Expand my cooking skills (this could be fun!)
  • Expensive?  Which is more economical?  The grocery store or your local CSA?  I would be interested in calculating the monthly difference.

http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

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