CSA… it’s like a Leafy Green Christmas Present during warm weather…
Last Winter Jill suggested that she would like to become a CSA member. What kind of idea is that? After all we live in Walla Walla which is in the Northwest – a part of the country that was not even involved in the Civil War. Why would we want to join the CSA – Confederate States of America?
No Dave, a CSA has nothing to do with the south – it is a Community Supported Agriculture program. We purchase a “share” in a farm in the spring and in exchange we get a box of produce a week from mid-May through the first of October.
We have always attempted to purchase and eat as much local fruit and produce as possible. So it was not a stretch to consider subscribing to a CSA. After we decided to join a CSA, there was no question which one we would join, Welcome Table Farm. Emily and Andy own the farm and we have known Emily since she was born. We had also been following the newspaper articles about their farm and their use of draft horses.
In past summers, Jill and I had purchased a variety of produce from Andy and Emily at the Walla Walla Farmer’s Market. One week we didn’t eat all of their greens and we noticed that they were still good into the next week. What a great endorsement for the quality and freshness of community agriculture and especially Welcome Table Farms.
We bought a “share” in the farm and in May we got our first “Christmas Present”. Well it seemed like a present because it was something that we liked, something we could use, and yet some things were a real surprise. Each week our box contained a bunch of leafy green and other things. We were familiar with most of the vegetables but some were “new” to us.
That was the present part – we received some vegetables that we might not have picked out for ourselves. Figuring out how to use that produce was a challenge but kind of fun – we ate things that we wouldn’t normally have purchased.
Two weeks ago we received our last regular box of the season. I already miss the fun of figuring out what we got and how we were going to prepare it. We did however receive one last box of “storage” vegetables. The box was not as exciting as those that contained something green but it was a nice way to end the year.
There is something comforting about eating food grown on a local farm by people that we know. While we know that they are trying to make a living at farming we also know that they are passionate about growing food in the right and sustainable way. That is a “winning” situation for both the farmer and the consumer – at least we think so.