Choosing local can be a joyfully made commitment, full of wonder and some very pleasant surprises. Weekly shares will fluctuate with weather and natural seasonal changes. While tender plants are shaking off the spring frost and gaining strength, you might find heavier selections of meat, eggs, cheese, jams and mushrooms in your box. The cool temps of early summer excite an abundance of herbs, salad greens, kale, chard, bunching onions, early carrots, radishes and turnips, while sizzling mid-summer invites irresistible tomatoes, cucumbers, snap beans, early watermelon and zucchini. As summer tapers into fall, sweet corn and peppers come on heavy. Mushrooms begin popping in the cooler, damper air. The garlic is now cured and cooler autumn breezes usher in plump storage onions, potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, beets, brussels sprouts, pumpkins and fall spinach. The season’s pickled veggies will be brined to perfection and fruits cooked into delightful preserves.
Each week of Local Choice CSA becomes a journey through the delicate cycles of food. We discover that some of our best-loved produce such as peas, melons, strawberries and sweet corn have the shortest life-spans, which in turn teaches us to raise our appreciation for their brief place on our table. When we become tired of kale and summer squash, we remind ourselves that these plants are power houses of the vegetable world, relentlessly offering us nourishment, a gift for which we should be thankful. (And perhaps be moved to discover more creative ways of preparing them). Storage veggies teach us gratitude, not just for sustenance well into winter, but also for nostalgic meals steeped in holiday traditions.
On Tuesday afternoons, beginning in June, we unpack the week’s bounty, like opening a gift. There is nearly always goat cheese and meat for at least two meals and veggies for the whole week. A dozen eggs every other week. Fruit starts with currants in June and ends with apples in October. Herbs last the whole season long, enriching our meals and expanding our pallet. Our share also comes with an email newsletter sharing the day-to-day stories and news from the lives of our farmers. We find two complete meal plans with recipes and preparation instructions, plus tips for using left-overs. A weekly nutritional digest focuses on a different food each week. For those of us who enjoy food preservation, we can read about ways to make the harvest last. And just for fun, there are educational links to pertinent local eating articles, farmer blogs, interesting farm videos, podcasts and more. Later on in the summer, we have opportunities for farm visits, field days and time reserved for deepening our connection with the folks who make our food.
By November, our weekly share journey has ended, but there are still opportunities to reserve special orders for Thanksgiving and beyond. Late fall is prime time for bulking up on storage veggies before the long hibernation.
Yes, we can be deeply satisfied with knowing where and how our food is grown, but also in having deep and meaningful relationships with our growers and our neighbors. We are all members of the same community engaged in a deeply needed food culture shift: Local food. For that we should be proud.
Visit our CSA Share page for more infomation.