Today I am LOVING our CSA farm! Do you know what CSA is? I’ve talked about it on my little blog here before, but it stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and I am a BIG fan!
I found out about this whole concept a few years ago and I was immediately interested! When we moved to Michigan a few years back, I was on a mission to find a farm near us where I could get involved. I found Stone Coop Farm in Brighton, Michigan – run by the 2 smartest, friendliest farmers you’ll ever know! It is clear, from the second you meet Joannée and Shannon that they are truly working their life’s passion. All of the produce, and eggs are certified organic and non-gmo. Which is becoming more and more important as we learn about the less than stellar sources for the foods we’ve been eating.
As a CSA member, you pay for a share of the farm’s harvest. So for us, that means that every week, we go to the farm and pick up our weekly share. Depending on the season, we get anywhere from 5-10 different veggies. I have been introduced to some new and exciting produce that I had never tried before. It’s kind of fun actually to cook based on what I get in my share each week. It forces me to look up new recipes and try new things! We are now hooked on kale and kohlrabi as a result of our farm share.
Of course, I’m totally spoiled too…I can hardly stand to eat a store tomato anymore! The colors and varieties of veggies are astounding! I never knew there were purple peppers and beans! Or purple and yellow carrots! Tomatoes come in so many shapes, sizes and colors, but sadly…we usually only ever see 2-3 varieties in our grocery stores. In the grocery store, we get red and round tomatoes, because they pack, stack and keep longer than the farm fresh varieties. The produce we get from grocery stores are genetically modified to look the same, keep longer for shipping and be uniformly sized and shaped so that they can be boxed and displayed efficiently. And guess what they DON’T have…TASTE!
This is going to be my third year as a ‘helping share’ member. That means that I actually work a little for the farm and in exchange, I get a discount on my share! Cool right! My “job” is to work at the local farmers’ market on the weekends and sell our beautiful produce. I like talking to the customers and ask them what they’re making to eat with the goodies they buy! I’ve gotten some pretty good ideas!
And I’ve LEARNED so much! Joannee and Shannon are a wealth of information! Our kids have gotten involved, too. We’ve taken them out to the farm to help out quite a bit. They like to hang out with the chickens and squish tomato worms – the nastiest, fattest, green caterpillar – things you’ve ever seen! And we’ve discovered that when you step on them, they pop like a tomato juice-filled water balloon! YUCK!
Anyway…I’m excited because summer is just around the corner. I just got my first of 5 spring shares that will have a lot of nice green leafy veggies that they grow in hoop houses in the dead of winter in Michigan! I’m in awe of everything they do, and I’m so proud to be a part of it! I love knowing that our food is fresh, clean, local, organic, and non-gmo. . I highly suggest supporting your local farms! If you can find a CSA – GREAT! If not, make sure you check out your local farmers markets, but ask a lot of questions! Not all booths at a farmers markets, are actual farmers…or selling food from actual farms! Get involved, and be informed!