CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

This year we’ve joined a CSA (community supported agriculture). A CSA is somewhat like a co-op with a farmer. Back in February, I mailed a local farmer several hundred bucks for 15 (16?) weeks of fresh produce that I pick up from a local house once a week.

The produce is local (we could get to the farm in less than 90 minutes…can’t say that about the produce from the grocery store), organically grown (although not certified), and fresh, fresh, fresh!

Since we paid cash back in February, if the crops fail, we lose out on our money. If the crops are bumper, we get a bumper share.

We don’t get to choose what we want to eat, and if we get something we don’t like? Well, we have to find someone to give it to or something to do with it. Of course, we could also discover foods we’ve never eaten before but really like (last week it was Japanese mustard greens—really good).

We can also order locally made cheese from another farmer through our CSA. We haven’t done that yet, but I’m sure we will.

The farmer sends an email a few days before the delivery telling us what we’re getting, some recipe ideas, and a farm update. There’s also an optional email group made up of subscribers who share recipes.

Today’s update said, in part, that the lettuce is a hodge-podge because the heavy rains made a bunch of lettuce rot, and now the heat is causing the rest of the plants to bolt.

That is why I wanted to join a CSA. I want to know where my food comes from, and I want to support the local farmers, even if it means getting almost-bolted lettuce.

While researching our CSA, I found another website for buying locally produced goods (the Virginia Food and Beverage Directory). I look forward to using it to buy more local goods from “the little guy.”

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I started reading Little House in the Big Woods in Korean, but it was really hard because I don’t know words like “bladder” (오줌통) or “butter churn,” so I’ve put that book down temporarily in favor of 이상한 나라의 앨리스 (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland).

I’ve read Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass several times. Yet I don’t know that I realized before just how nonsensical it really is. Something about slowing down to read it in Korean made me realize that the book is a long, strange trip.