Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Local Food

this has been an exciting month in the estoll household for food. as i mentioned before, we have made a commitment for our family to refrain from buying factory-produced meat, which for us has meant a vegetarian diet for the most part (grass fed or wild meat is out of our price range for now.) what i haven't talked much about, though, is our foray back into the world of csa membership.

for those of you who don't know, csa stands for "community supported agriculture." essentially, people buy a share in a farm in the early spring, providing the farmer with start up funds for planting. then, as the growing season progresses, each person receives a share of the harvest. the beauty of this system is that the small, local farmer has a stable source of income, rain or shine, and the shareholder gets not only fresher, more flavorful and varied produce, but also the chance to see first hand who it is growing the food they are eating. and, for my kids, a chance to chase chickens and play with the kid-sized tractor every week when we pick up the share.

this summer, we somehow stumbled into having 2 shares at 2 different farms. the first one we planned on--its the same farm we had a fruit share with 2 summers ago before the whole Greeley Debacle. this year, we wanted to get a veggie share in addition to the fruit, but it was sold out...so we decided to go with just the fruit again. but then, my friend joanna, who had gotten a veggie share at a different farm, asked me if we wanted to split hers, because she was getting way more food than her family could eat. yeehaw! so, now we get to go on a field trip to the farm for the fruit share each week, plus every thursday i have an excuse to have a coffee date while we split up the goods from joanna's share.

it's also exciting because i have been learning how much of a negative impact eating food that has been trucked, flown, or otherwise shipped has on the environment, not to mention the quality of the food. eating produce grown by anne the farmer down the street allows me to not only support her business, thus keeping local economies thriving, but also blesses my family with healthier, tastier, and ultimately safer food. check out this link for 10 Reasons to Eat Local Food.

in case you were wondering, csa's are in just about every community across the nation, and many who don't will at least have a farmer's market nearby. for a look into how many farms and farmers markets are near you , check out localharvest.org. happy eating!

1 comment:

be_a_Mary said...

Yes, I have a few friends who have a csa and they love it. I enjoy farmers markets up here, to wander outside and support the locals. and the food is excellent! and the kids LOVE the outing!!