I just signed up with AT Buzby Farm’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). From May to September, my family and I will enjoy a weekly share of locally-grown IN SEASON produce that are either organic or sustainable.
See if you can find a farm CSA near you this year. It introduces you to a whole new world of veggies that you may never taste or even have seen. It is really interesting to find out what is grown in your area and which time of year. When the grocery stores offer strawberries all year (from all ends of the Earth), its hard to remember that they are only locally-grown in the Spring/Summer here.
Here is some info from Buzby’s website. This is very similar to other CSAs I have participated in the past.
At one time, a large portion of our diet was supplied by the fertile lands which surround us. Today our food system has changed. It’s common today to find imported produce in the grocery store while the local crop is in season and being shipped out of state! How crazy is that? It is our mission to reverse this trend. The CSA program is an effort to fill the dinner tables of our members with fresh, nutritious produce while providing them an opportunity to reconnect with the seasonal nature of local food and help preserve a working family farm.
By joining this CSA, you become a shareholder in the operation. If the season is good we all share the bounty. If the season is poor we all suffer the loss. At times there will be an abundance of some crops and you will get more than you expect. Other times, there may be crop failures and we will have less to share. While we will act in good faith to provide produce for the 20-week season, there is no guarantee of quantities or contents of weekly shares.
What does a share include?
You will get an assortment of fresh produce each week for 20 weeks. You can pick up weekly at one of the pick-up locations (2 in Collingswood!). Some veggies may be new to you, but part of the fun of a CSA is trying new things! Recipes will be provided to help you find new ways to enjoy your produce. A share also includes an invitation to our Spring Open House and the Fall Pumpkin Pick.
A typical week includes:
2 qts. Strawberries
2 lb. Asparagus
8 turnips with greens
2 heads Romaine
1 bunch carrots
2 Spring Onions
Pick you own Snap Peas
1 doz. Sweetcorn
2 Bell peppers or Eggplant
1 pound of String Beans
1 Cantaloupe or Watermelon
Pick-your own grape tomatoes
Cut-your-own flowers and herbs
1 doz. Sweetcorn
2 red/yellow bell peppers
2 lbs. potatoes
2 Winter Squash
Events just for our CSA members
Spring Open House
Spring is ripe with anticipation. Come get a tour of the farm and see the crops as they are just getting started. Enjoy u-pick strawberries and strawberry desserts! This is a great opportunity to get to know your farmers better and for us to get to know you.
Fall Pumpkin Pick
Enjoy the crisp autumn air while on a wagon ride to pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin. Lots of fun for kids!
Organic crops include:
bok choy, broccoli, broccoli raab, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, herbs, kohlrabi, lettuces, onions, peas, hot peppers, spinach, swiss chard, heirloom tomatoes, and grape tomatoes.
Non-organic crops, which are grown with integrated pest management (IPM) practices to reduce reliance on synthetic pesticides, include: beets, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, green beens, melons, radishes, squash, strawberries, sweet corn and watermelons and winter squash.
Some products are sourced from neighboring farms including: apples, asparagus, blueberries, lima beans and peaches. These crops are grown conventionally.
Only a few years ago, our family farm was focused on commercial-scale production or fresh produce and had no market for organically grown crops. When we started the CSA, we also began transitioning some land into organic production because we knew our CSA members would appreciate it. As the CSA grows, so will the portion of products that are grown organically. We are still working to develop ways to grow some crops organically while producing an acceptable yield and quality of product.
Our farm is also GAP (good agricultural practices) certified which ensures the safety of the produce.
It can be very confusing to be a consumer these days with many powerful and conflicting messages out there. What we can promise is that we will do our best to grow safe, nutritious food not only for our customers, but also for ourselves as we enjoy eating all of the crops we grow and feed them to our young children with confidence that they will be nourished.
Stay tuned! I’ll be sharing my adventures into starting my first garden this year!