{know your farmer} Join a CSA?

Here in the Northeast, it’s summer-share CSA {Community Support Agriculture} sign-up time.

More specifically in our little corner of the world, the Albany/Saratoga/Schenectady/Troy area is being treated to a CSA Fair sponsored by Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, NOFA-NY. It is being held TODAY at the ATRIUM, the location of the Troy Farmers Market, from noon-3pm. This is a big gathering of all the local CSA farmers in one spot, there to answer your questions; price, pick-up location, conventional or organic, fruit/no-fruit, micro or full share AND for you to hopefully purchase a share. In addition, if you stop by the Kilpatrick Family Farm table, you will of course get to meet the owner, Michael, but also ME! I will be at the KFF table answering questions { giving my perspective as a current CSA member} AND also shilling promoting our blog. I’ll be handing out a packet of recipes from the blog as a take-away! Come on down!

If you are a regular reader of the blog you know that all five of us + Dianna are all CSA members at different times of the year. It should be noted that this past summer was the first season for many of us (Amanda, Sarah & I) and this fall/winter/spring was the first for Alexis. I loved it so much that I am now a year-round share holder with KFF in the fall/winter/spring and Denison Farm in the summer.

We ALL love being a share holder for one reason or another. If you are on the fence about joining this summer, I asked the group to answer : Why join a CSA?

+++++

“I joined a CSA because the idea of picking up a fresh box of veggies each week from a farm was enchanting.  Yes….Fairy tale-ish.  I love unpacking the box with the help of my toddler.  We look at each vegetable and talk about what it is and feel it.  He still doesn’t eat them all but it’s a great education in where our food comes from.  I also love feeling like a part of a special community that is supporting local farms!” -Sarah

+++++

“Connecting with the source of my food by joining a CSA means taking a new level of responsibility for the food that my family and I consume.  By challenging myself to prepare meals with local and organic foods it’s harder to take what we eat for granted.  The ever-expanding movement to support ethical and sustainable food production is exciting and I want to be a part of it.” -Alexis

+++++

I joined the winter CSA at Kilpatrick Family Farms because even though I have a big garden in the summer, I do not have the capacity to raise greens in the winter nor to store a large enough quantity of root crops to feed my family all year. I love high quality, fresh food, and KFF keeps it coming through November, December, January, February, March and April.   Just as my peas are peeping up in the spring, my share is finished.  The timing is perfect.

Buying a winter share also keeps me coming to the farmers market each week.  I might be tempted to hibernate in the cold weather if I didn’t have an incentive to leave the house every Saturday morning.  Going to the market to pick up my share, I also buy bread and eggs and mushrooms and tamales and apples and cider and yogurt and fish from other vendors.  We eat better, fresher food all winter long.  Thanks KFF.  You keep me from lapsing into a junk-food-induced stupor during the dark times of the year.” -Dianna

+++++

1.       To buy from local farms.  I want my kids to know where their food is grown and who grows it,

2.       Very easy local and quick weekly pick up, and finally

3.       Even though the cost seems like a lot at the beginning, we are getting a great value for amazing produce! – Amanda

+++++

“Ooh, so many reasons! I love knowing my farmers, visiting the farm where my food is growing, the sense of community that being part of a CSA creates, getting to experiment with foods I would never have tried otherwise, enjoying such fresh produce, saving time on grocery shopping during CSA months, knowing that my veggies are chemical-free and not harming the environment!” - Leslie
+++++
“Making an investment in a local business feels right. It feels important. The money I invest at the beginning of the season tells the farmer, the community and the society at large that there is a growing number of people who believe in sustainable, organic, small-scale farming is an important piece of the environmental, social justice, animal welfare and economic puzzle for the future. In addition, on a personal level, there is not a more important education for my food-allergic son than learning the variety of vegetables and fruits but also about the soil-to-table process. Actually KNOWING the men and women who grow the food he eats. As for me, being apart of the farming community has transformed my quality of life; Wednesdays & Saturdays are sacred farmers market days. Lastly, unlike the aisles & aisles of “food” at our local grocery story, EVERYTHING that is grown by our local farmers is safe for Miles to eat; it opens up a world of possibilities for his ever-expanding palette.” -Me
Wanna read more?
  • I wrote a piece on my gratitude for being a part of the KFF family “Thanksgiving Gratitude, An Update”
  • Sarah, Amanda & I {and the 5 kiddos} went on a KFF farm tour last summer.
  • A local filmmaker just completed a short 8-minute documentary, The Local Food Movement” staring many farmers and workers who are at the Saratoga Farmers Market, including Michael Kilpatrick & Justine Denison. Watch here on YouTube.
  • A very timely piece by Mark Bittman about a report that was published this week by the UN finding that sustainable and organic farming is a viable way to feed the world. Here’s the report. I will be republishing these links, and hopefully more on the story in tomorrow’s Weekend Reading.
  • A piece in the New York Times about a growing number of 20′s & 30-something in Oregon are opting to farm.
  • Finally, read about the CSA business model on Local Harvest then use their search engine to find a CSA in your area!
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Categories: cooking, Cooking w Kids, CSA, Local Business, local events, Local Farms, {Know Your Farmer}

Author:Christina

Finding her true calling, connecting people to their local foodshed, Christina is the Editor & Founder of From Scratch Club and a proud CSA Member & Market Crew member of Kilpatrick Family Farm. At the homestead, she is the Chef de Cuisine, Master Baker & Head Food Preservationist to her husband Charles and their 2 year old son, Miles Jae. Although always a supporter of local, sustainable, humane and whole foods, Chris is now on a serious mission to bring those principles into her kitchen due to Miles Jae’s multiple food allergy diagnosis, asthma and the rare disease, EE. All of her recipes are dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten/wheat, pea, corn & sesame free.

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10 Comments on “{know your farmer} Join a CSA?”

  1. March 12, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    I totally believe that csa’s are the way to go for you in season produce.

    • March 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

      Yes! Do you belong to a CSA or thinking about joining one?

  2. March 12, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Another reason to do a CSA? The discount. There’s no way I could afford to buy mostly local food in the summer if I didn’t just get a box of veggies and fruits. When we lived in Washington state our huge grocery bag filled to the brim with organic veggies cost us about $22 a week. If I’d bought the same stuff a la carte at the farmers market I probably would’ve paid at least twice that, if not more.

    • March 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      TOTALLY. An excellent point. I think the other 5 ladies would agree to- its sooo much cheaper to get the weekly share than a la carte. I think its 22-26/per week too. A steal.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. {Know Your Farmer} an announcement. « FROM SCRATCH club - April 1, 2011

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  3. {hello} I’m Christine « FROM SCRATCH CLUB - May 17, 2011

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  5. {fundraiser} For Denison Farm & Kilpatrick Family Farm | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - September 5, 2011

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  6. {KNOW YOUR FARMER} why are you a CSA member? | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - March 3, 2012

    [...] post is a reworking of our post “Join A CSA?” from March 2011. Last year, I accompanied Michael Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick Family Farm to the 1st Annual CSA Fair [...]

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