Monday, June 7, 2010
Brunty Farms CSA: Week One
I have been a CSA member now for four seasons. As a CSA member, you pay your farmer up front, usually in January or February, for your share for the season, which usually runs around 20-22 weeks. For around $500, you get a share in each week's harvest.
The upfront investment allows your farmer to purchase seeds, plants, and supplies to grow the crops. In turn, you share in the rewards, and the risks of farming. If a hail storm comes through and wipes out the peas, well, no peas for you.
On the positive side, you have a unique relationship with the producer of your food. Which is why it's important that you get to know your farm, preferably before you become a member. They are about to become a member of your family.
Not everyone can handle the unknown aspect of what you might receive on a weekly basis, including some unusual things that you may not be familiar with. It's definitely helped me become more creative, and I try to help my clients and my farmers market demo fans see things a little differently.
There are some options locally that aggregate products from different farmers into a CSA. I understand why some prefer that approach, but I personally feel that it removes you from the unique relationship you'll enjoy from knowing, visiting, and seeing exactly where your food comes from. Do you have any idea at the supermarket? Even with 'point of origin' signs?
This year I am excited to be a charter member of Brunty Farms CSA. In addition to vegetables, fruits and herbs (most of which my sister is taking), we also receive weekly a dozen eggs, 2 chickens per month, a baked good, and flowers.
We also have an optional half pig share. So yes, all those adorable piggy pics I've posted, well one of them is destined to be on my table soon. I've visited them since they arrived on the farm in the fall and watched them grow. And I know that Jeff and Melanie are taking great care of them.
I am looking forward to a great season. Week one was pretty impressive: Strawberries, basil plant, low fat banana bread, salad mix, Easter egg radishes, dozen eggs, 2 chickens, onion scapes, and a stir-fry mix of baby broccoli and radish sprouts. Plus a nice newsletter with some recipes.
One week down, 21 to go. I can't wait.