Starting next week Wolf will make a stop every Wednesday on his way home from work. Where will he stop? At the meeting place where he picks up our CSA.
What’s a CSA you ask? The acronym stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The premise behind a CSA is this: you pay x amount of dollars up front to a farmer (or group of farmers) and they give you fresh yummies. The cost depends on the area you live and the length of the CSA. For instance, the Local Harvest CSA we participate in costs a little over $500 and it goes from June until October.
Yes, it’s a lot of money, especially in this economic climate — thankfully our CSA allows one to pay in increments — but it’s well worth having organic veggies (and sometimes fruits) on my plate every day.
I like eating local. I like supporting my local farmers, Gitch’s Funny Farm and Maggie Mae Farm by buying local meats and eggs. And I like knowing my money is going into the pockets of people I know and love. I also like knowing my food hasn’t traveled further than I have. After all, living in New England it’s not likely for me to have greens in the dead of winter nor any of the summer fruits and vegetables such as berries, oranges, red peppers, zucchini, etc. so when Wolf buys those products at the grocery store I know they have come from far, far away using lots of oil to be grown and shipped before getting into my belly. I know those chemicals used for growth aren’t good for me and certainly not good for Mother Earth. Further, all the oil used to get food from South America, or California, or China isn’t good for Our Mama either.
When Wolf and I first signed up for the CSA we were pretty overwhelmed with the amount of food we got each week. It required him to rethink how to meal plan and what to cook. It also caused us to eat vegetables we had never had before or claimed to not like. I am now a big fan of kohlrabi and I don’t mind beets as much as I used to.
There are winter CSAs out there. We signed up for one out of Webster that provided us with lots of root vegetables all winter. There are also some nice treats like maple syrup and apples, neither of which I expected.
Eating locally available foods has changed my relationship with food. Now I get so very excited when I see berries and apples for the mere fact I won’t eat grocery store fruits. I have to be careful about eating the local stuff because it’s not always the healthiest choice.
I have cut out most processed “foods”, things I once considered treats, and feel better than I ever have. And not just in my body do I feel better, in my mind. The ADHD I’ve coped with all my life has significantly reduced because it was the chemicals in the foods my brain was negatively responding to. Now I can tell almost immediately when I eat something processed.
So consider a CSA in your area. It’s a great first step to eating healthy for you and Mama.