I have been reading for quite some time now about CSA's - Community Sponsored Agriculture. I've read all summer as people shared the contents of their baskets, and bragged about the canning and preserving they were doing.
I already receive a weekly shipment from Timber Creek Farms, a local company that delivers milk and organic produce. But even though they're great, I know they're not growing those pineapples and bananas in Indiana. They don't claim to, by the way. They do, however, deliver "hormone-free" milk that is far cheaper than ordinary organic milk (it's not actually organic, but if I had to rank my milk priorities, hormones and price are above organic). I also get a weekly Fruit Box and a few other grocery items like organic cottage cheese. I tried to get a Vegetable Box but it was just far too much veggies for my family to eat!
But I really wanted to try a CSA and HomeGrownWisconsin offers a Winter Share. Plus, it's Wisconsin, from where all good things come (as Sara well knows!). A WinterShare, if you're not familiar (I wasn't) is 3 deliveries, once a month, in November, December, and January. (So you can look forward to a similar post in December, right before Chanukah...I'm hoping for as many sweet potatoes so I can make sweet potato latkes!)
So here's what I got on Thursday night. Pie pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash, cranberries, carrots, apples, onions, leeks, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, dried celery, and....popcorn, dried on the cob. (That's in the bottom right corner of the picture.) How neat is that? I'm very excited for it to be an activity and a food. Plus I get a newsletter that tells me all about what I've got and how long it will last.
While I know that we are not in the least bit qualified to be locavores (we like Costco too much), and we don't always eat organic (I pick and choose), I feel like this is my one little contribution to the world of sustainable agriculture. I look foward to figuring out what to do with all my veggies (pumpkin pie? cranberry sauce? leek soup? mushroom pate?) and, of course, sharing them with you all here in blogland.
What are you doing to improve the sustainability of your food?
I often go to the local geengrocer who encourages local produce. Yet I also buy Israeli products to support Israel (grapefruit and kumara, mostly).
What a yummy looking box :).
We too try to buy local whenever possible, happily something that is easy in Israel. I buy nearly all of my produce at the local greengrocer and for the most part stick to seasonal foods. I used to buy a lot more organic but it was just too expensive and the quality wasn't as good.
I was so curious to see what sort of late fall/early winter produce Wisconsin produces. I'd love to see what December and January bring.
My problem with CSA is that I'd have no idea how to use a lot of the veggies they send out! I'm in a bit of a veggie rut, even though we eat fairly healthy at our house. I will be curious to see how you all like your CSA since we too are considering it. Though UT has a leg up on WI on this one: peaches and apricots, which I'm quite sure are not native to WI (just as pineapples do not come from Indiana).
And, I'm the first to admit that I'm not that great at choosing local. Right now, I choose things that cost the least and am particular about only certain things being organic. Plus, it would help if the local fruit stand opened at the time I grocery shop, but I suppose that's an irrelevant detail.
I'm envious, Phyllis. We try to get especially our produce local; we've got not one, not two, but THREE great local farms that are totally convenient. I wish we could do more, though. I wish CSA worked for us...
We're trying to start a CSA program here at the temple - we're waiting to see how much interest there is. I LOVE the idea of a winter share - that sounds delicious!
Lately, I've enjoyed buying from the vendors on the street here in NYC, and from our farmers' markets in town. It feels good, tastes great, and makes such a difference to local farmers. Every little step, right?
I'm with Sara. We tried a CSA over the summer and found that too much of it was going to waste because I just had no idea what to do with it AND had no time to experiment.
In my fantasy life -- you know, the one where I am a really amazing stay-at-home mom who can do everything -- I would be able to do it. But I just can't and it makes me sad :(
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