One of my favorite parts of summer are my Saturday trips to the farmer's market. It is a small market in Park Ridge, IL, but has one of my favorite farms- The Wright Way Farm. They are an organic farm (because boo, Monsanto), grow food with insanely good flavor, and they have a passion for what they grow and helping people know about the food and where it comes from.
I love their food so much that I signed up for a CSA share with them this year.
A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Share is where you buy a share in a farm and your dividends are what they grow. For $220 paid in winter, I receive a box of whatever has been harvested each week from June through October. That works out to about $10 per week for an amazing amount of food (I get a half share, which is good for 2 people). Plus, it helps the farm to be able to pay for all their planting supplies and seeds, etc.
My box is a lovely box with an adorable name tag that has a picture of the farm on it. Each week I get an email from Denny and Susan, the owners of the farm, with a list of what will be in my box that week, recipes, and musings on life and the world we live in.
Here is an excerpt from one of their emails that I liked:
You have already likely taken steps to reduce your carbon footprint. You joined a local CSA, and you probably source more than the average amount of food at your local farmers' market. You are probably trying to cook more of your meals. Just eating more vegetables in your diet will help with water and land conservation. By 2050, according to 'Feeding a Thirsty World" by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), we may all be eating a vegetarian diet. By 2050 there are expected to be 2 billion more people on this planet. The western meat-based diet consumes ten times as much land and five to ten times as much water, something we are running shorter on each year. With more developing countries trending towards a western meat-protein-based diet, a vegetable-based diet will be inevitable at some point in the future.
So by eating more vegetables, you are conserving water, eating responsibly, and conserving land. You will also gain immediate health benefits from this diet for your family. In addition, by sourcing your food more locally, as you are likely doing, you are supporting local economies, minimizing your food travel time which reduces the overall carbon footprint of each meal, and you are encouraging more local farmers to grow more local produce. Thank you for doing your part to help mitigate some of the issues facing us. Don't stop there. We can all work together to initiate new ideas to make our world a habitable place for the next generation and those that follow.
Look at my bounty from this week's box!
- Green Onions
- Pak Choy
- 3 kinds of Lettuce
Previous weeks this month had asparagus, rhubarb, other types of greens, and whole wheat flour (which I just made pizza dough out of).
Strawberries go bad pretty quickly (I mean, real strawberries that aren't shipped by boat from who knows where). SO, I decided I had to eat those first.
I happened to have some heavy cream in the fridge (what are the odds?) which was great to make some home made whipped cream to dip the strawberries in. NOM. It is a shame that strawberries are only incarnated in their best form for a few weeks per year.
If you are interested in joining a CSA, you can either (1) go to your local market, find a farm you like, and see if they do a CSA or (2) go to Local Harvest and look up CSAs near you. It's a great way to get fresh, local food at a really good price.
Anyone else out there with a CSA? What was in your box this week?