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Envision a world where you knew your neighbors again.
Imagine living in a community where your livelihood was not dependent on the rising and falling of big business in faraway places.
What if your farmer, was one of your best friends?
This is the dream, the vision, behind CSA. It is you being able to shake the hand that feeds you (and not having to worry about contracting a virus in the process).
CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture,” and is just one of the ways customers who find value in nutrient dense, high quality food can support a farmer. But what sets it apart from the other market streams, such as farmers markets and the local produce label at Meijer?
There’s something rewarding about knowing you are doing your part to support a local farmer.
Call it satisfying your “food conscience.”
CSA is a mechanism you can put into your weekly routine that allows you to access great-tasting food, knowing there’s a real farm’s livelihood depending on it.
This means that you are committed to staying with a specific farmer (or two) through the CSA season(s) of your choice, come thick or thin.
Inherent in this arrangement is the understanding that there is a risk. There may be too much sun or rain, bugs or disease, and a certain crop or crops may not appear in your share that summer.
On the flip side, there may be a bumper crop of tomatoes or cucumbers, and you’ll be swimming in cucurbits.
CSA members live with and embrace this reality every day.
Every week of the season, on Monday, I send out a newsletter and an invitation to customize your share. You’ll always be in the know of what’s happening on the farm, and the joys and trials of our journey with the soil.
Tuesday is delivery day. To us on the farm it is harvest day! We harvest almost everything, wash, pack, and deliver all in the same day. No warehouse, no semi’s, no contamination, we live and breathe the same air the plants do, and so do you.
Your kitchen is transformed into a place of fine dining. Make it gourmet, or eat it raw. Both ways taste far beyond delicious. The taste of nutrient dense food serves both your appetite and your health. And healthy food can be convenient!
Why do we have all this variety in nature when the rules of convenience demand that we trust in the beef burger?
We talk about saving the planet and curbing climate change, but we still get our lunch from the ‘local’ McDonalds or Taco Bell.
The problem lies not within the beef burger, it is in the system which produces the beef.
So to produce change in the food system it must begin with us, and that means knowing how the farmer grew the food.
So take a little extra time to cut up those carrot sticks in the morning, your food conscience will thank you. And you’ll save the gas it took to get to McDonalds.
You don’t have to be vegan to join a CSA. Just an aspiring food junkie who wants to do amazing things with food. The veggies in your box are the starring attraction in your quest to master your kitchen space and prepare a delicious meal to rival any restaurant fare — a meal you can be proud of.
Need menu planning help? That’s why we are working on a seasonal recipe system, including a book, to help you get going with ideas to begin doing your own experimentation in the kitchen. Cooking can be fun and simple. And there’s other websites to check out, like ChefAni.com (she’s a personal friend of mine) or ediblemichiana.ediblecommunities.com . Or a Google search away for how to use carrot tops. By the way, they make GREAT pesto!
So what sets us apart from the other CSAs in our area?
Number one, we are small (2021 is our second season) and that means you have the chance to be one of our founding members.
Number two, is how we manage our soil. We take an all angles approach that addresses everything from soil tilth and drainage, to nutrient availability, to the ability to build soil organic matter without adding tons of compost to do so. It’s regenerative, it’s sustainable, and it’s repeatable.
Number three. Our aim is to grow in grace. This means we want to grow spiritually and become more like the loving God that we find in the Bible. There is no superstition involved in this. Just faith. Trust in a mighty, powerful God who is able to cause the soil to bring forth its treasures (provided we do our part).
“I’m going to be gone a lot.”
Are you? So either you purchase from the online market, or… why don’t you gift your share to someone else for the time you’re gone? Then it’s a win win for both the farmer and you. The farmer gets the means to keep providing you incredible food(and maybe gets more customers), and you get blessed for being outrageously generous. This is also why we chose to separate our season into two. To make room for those family vacation trips.
“Aren’t CSAs more expensive than buying from the grocery store?”
The simple answer is not really. Which do you value more? Quality or quantity? If produce were priced by the freshness, taste, and nutrient density, our prices would be at least twice that of the store. We have to stay competitive though. A nutrient dense carrot is not a gold watch. A full share is roughly $30 in produce a week (our aim is to exceed that), so for example, you could expect: 2 1/4 lb bags of salad mix, 2 large bunches of kale, a bunch of radishes and a bunch of carrots, 2 lbs of tomatoes, 5 large cucumbers, several small summer squash and Zucchini, a bunch of basil, and 2 eggplant.