The beautiful basket that holds our July 18th bounty was hand-made by Alison Hodges as a wedding present. Don't you love functional art? And love it more when you know the care and good wishes that went into it?
We're trying something new this year, a 12-week subscription to a CSA. When I first googled CSA, the lead link was for the Casting Society of America...not what we were looking for...
We purchased a share of seasonal produce from a Community Supported Agriculture farm. I found ours through the Local Harvest website, http://www.localharvest.org/ , a food-farmer-community site. There is a cool map on the home page with a green dot for every farm they list--and there are farms in all the lower 48. It showed a lot of farms in Texas but I'm still jealous of the eastern states that were almost solid green.
We paid up front and now, every Saturday morning through August, I pick up a bag of fresh. Never know what this week's fresh will be, but I do know that it was in the ground a day before. Some weeks we'll get a lot of one thing, like the first week when we got little sweet onions and pounds of pickling cucumbers. I didn't have time to pickle so we ate cucumbers lunch and dinner every day the following week. But they were good, and a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium. Having said that, I'll admit I'm glad we've moved into pepper and squash season. The fresh cayenne pepper that I used in a recent Curried Quinoa and Garbanzo Stew gave it a nice under-burn.
Our farm is also certified organic. So we not only get produce grown within thirty miles of our front door, we don't have to wonder what's been sprayed or sprinkled in the growing. We live a ways from a big city and our access to organic produce is somewhat limited, but I believe in eating organic when we can. It's better for every living thing that the air, water and soil aren't imbued with poisons and synthetic fertilizers.
And organics are a better choice for my body. The breast cancer taught me that my body is capable of harmful mutation on its own--it doesn't need additional encouragement.
A CSA isn't for everyone--there's no choice in the basket--and it's not inexpensive. But my farmer sends beautiful, clean, healthy, delicious vegetables, and an occasional recipe for using them. Next year I'm going to have more time, I'm sure of it, and I'm going to make the cold-cure pickle recipe. A cold tangy crunch will taste good when the thermometer hits 100F.
We support our local farm and we get great food. Amen.