“Food” Spelled Backwards Is “Doof”
And “Jesus” spelled backwards sounds like “sausage.”
It’s true. I just learned that.
Anyway, ’tis been a while since I yammered on about food and how you should try not to eat like an asshole (damn, now I’m picturing a literal asshole try to eat something — like, say, a tomato or a Zagnut bar). This seems a good day, though, since it is Holy Crap, The First Day Of Spring.
And the first day of spring is the best day of the whole year, because it is the day that puts its foot on Winter’s neck and presses down so hard it snaps.
So this seems like a good day to get up on my soapbox once more and start frothing at the mouth about how basically you’re shoving garbage into your body which is like taking a dump in your car’s gas tank except it happens to be your life and not a machine, and how the many Western diseases from which we suffer are partially caused by our corn-addicted, corn-raped, over-processed diets.
Except, I’ll save that for another day.
Instead, I’ll ask you a question.
Anybody ever taken part in a CSA? Community-sponsored agriculture?
I always dismissed it, assuming it was some weird hippy shit. Bunch of crunchy-haired back-to-earth types sleeping in compost piles, eating raw veggies out of a moldy cardboard box, and getting so high they can talk to the bees. Then I looked into it, and it doesn’t seem that hippy-shitty at all.
I guess the idea is, you go to a farm and “buy in” at the beginning of a season — and that buy-in can seem steep. Five to seven hundred bucks. But that’s for a 20-25 week growing season, from May-ish to November-ish. But then you get to visit that farm every week and pick up your produce. You don’t shop for it. It’s whatever happens to be in season. You don’t get a ton of choice, though some farms week-to-week do offer some options (you want basil or chives this weekend? zucchini or summer squash?). That nets out to be about $25-30 a week, and you reportedly get enough produce for a family of four. (One farm lists several example weeks, and one of the mid-summer weeks lists the produce as: 1/2 lb of salad mix, one watermelon, one lb. onions, a bunch of herbs, quart of peppers, pint of cherry tomatoes, quart of heirloom tomatoes, two pounds of new potatoes, and two garlic bulbs.)
And it’s fresh produce.
It comes from people you meet. From farms you visit. And farms you work.
See, that’s another stipulation. Most CSAs ask that you commit some hours to the farm during the growing season — usually four to eight hours. That’s once during the entire 24 weeks. I’m kind of into that. Growing up, I hated doing farm stuff (I grew up on a farm), but duh, I was a kid. I hated everything that smelled of work and effort. Now, I kind of miss that. That sounds pretty cool to me. Am I nuts?
It has a couple downsides. I don’t get to choose the produce that week, but that’s okay — I like the “forced creativity” of having to make recipes from whatever is in front of me. It’s like Iron Chef Wendig. I’m competing against nobody, of course. Except the dogs. I stick them in little chef hats and give them knives.
The other downside is, we go to the farmer’s market weekly, and it means I’m less of a customer to one of our favorite farms and markets, but… it also sounds like this is more bang for our buck. And we can still hit the farmer’s market for other types of food — meat, jams, jellies, pies, any produce that didn’t get included that I need for the week, soaps, dog bones, corn husk dildos, y’know. The usual.
So, anybody a farmer’s market whore like me?
Anybody buy a share of a CSA? Or know somebody that did?
Give a shout. Drop some logic.
If you need to find farm CSAs in Pennsylvania: Buy Local PA.
Or, for anywhere else, Local Harvest.
That is all.