CSA Heaven (Community Supported Agriculture)
I am in CSA heaven. It is true, there is no other way to describe it. This our first year as CSA shareholders (Waltham Fields Community Farm) and last week was the beginning of our weekly CSA distributions. The whole experience from going to the orientation to going to the farm for our first pickup, to devouring the amazing greens over the week has won me over. And now, in a few short hours, our kitchen will once again be filled with fresh and lush vegetables from our farm.
Typically a CSA share feeds a family of 2 veggie loving adults and 2 children. We opted to split 2 shares among 3 families for our first year. It requires some coordination but it means we don’t have to go to the farm every week since we rotate pickups and we get to see our friends a little more regularly and share tips and recipes, which is a nice by product feeding into the very communal nature of CSAs.
I took my daughter to pick up the 2 shares last Tuesday. It had been raining and was a little chilly for June but none of that hampered the experience. I took home some lessons to make the next trip a little easier and will share those with you in my next post. If you are part of or planning to be part of something similar they may prove useful.
My first impression was that I felt like I was stealing! There was so much! And many items were large, like the heads of lettuce and collard greens. My bags were very quickly filled to the brim. All of the vegetables were out in bins for shareholders to make their selection. We got to pick 8 out of the 10 items available. I had my daughter in an Ergo carrier on my front so my hands would be free to gather up our produce. She was quite patient and tolerant. She only whined a little the many times I wacked her in the head with wet leaves. By the time I got to the lettuce I had to put her and the bags down, I was carrying too much and my bags were too full. After unloading I was able to fit the lettuce into the bags. We then walked to the car before returning to buy some honey (I had left my wallet in the car) and to go over to pick our snap peas and herbs.
Picking snap peas with Sofie was fun. At the tender age of 16 months she was great in the field. She munched on a very small snap pea and inspected the flowers while I picked our 2 pints. When we were over picking herbs she loved playing with a chive blossom. I am so thrilled she gets to share in this wonderful experience with us. The farm is extremely tolerant and welcoming of children. In fact, they have a number of children’s activities, which Sofie will get to enjoy when she is a little older. They also seem to genuinely care deeply about their work and will make the time to answer any question you might have. It simply feels good to be at the farm and to be supporting it. (Though we are the ones making out based on last weeks distribution.)
Here is what we got in our 1st distribution: spinach, garlic scapes, swiss chard, collard greens, bok choy, green leaf lettuce, radishes, tatsoi. PYO: snap peas, thyme, mint, chives
Today will only be our 2nd distribution so I cannot say yet if I will end up being tired of kale or collard greens but so far I have found the entire opportunity amazing. It is such a pure and happy thing. I love it.