Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Need a CSA!

(Caitlin Brady of Blue Rock Farm- photos from her blog)
We were so lucky to have had Max enrolled at the Lancaster Cooperative School for his last two years of Preschool (we miss the community), where it seemed like so many parents were self-employed organic farmers, yoga teachers, artists, healers.
This group overlapped the people I know from my Lancaster art circle.
(one of my FAVORITE things was the potluck dinners...what a healthy/local/gourmet spread.)

Anyway, I'm not sure what or who exactly prompted my initial interest in Community Sponsored Agriculture. But, I do know that after Jo Ellen left me with a sack full of vegetables from a share she has, now I REALLY want to join a CSA.

It was fantastic having fresh local vegetables to play around with in recipes and be able to incorporate them into our meals. I obviously am a bit late in the season for 2011, so I'm researching for 2012.
Here are two CSA's that I'm learning more about. Both of them are so endearing in different ways.
There's Caitlin's Blue Rock Farm in Willow Street. Caitlin has worked on Missouri farms harvesting grapes, corn and soy. She's worked the coffee cliffs of Guatemala, the cranberry bogs in Cape Cod, and grew organic heirloom vegetables in Silver Spring, PA. This year she has devoted one acre of land to organic vegetable production with 25 available shares.

When I wrote Caitlin about using her photos in my blog, she told me to stop and see her at the Millersville Farmers Market open every Wednesday from 4-8 pm at the MU Student Memorial Center where she is Market Manager.
You can learn more about her from this cool video too.

A Day @ Blue Rock Farm from jacob kraybill on Vimeo.

Blue Rock Farm offers whole and half produce shares, coffee and flower shares and work shares (produce in exchange for four hours of work a week.)

And there is Goldfinch Farm, owned by fellow coopers from last year Jon and Beth Weaver-Kreider and their two boys. Jon and Beth run this great family farm on Schmuck Road in York. It was exciting to hear the progress of the crops while we waited for school to let out. Beth has a very kind nature about her, and was so sweet to Mimi when she was born.

(Photo of Ellis with radishes he planted in spring of 2010- from the Goldfinch Farm homepage.)
Goldfinch Farm is large with 220 CSA members.The season runs from June to early November, with 8-12 different items per share on average available each week.
Here are some photos Matt took of Max playing there last year.

This is what a typical August share could contain:
6 beets
1 onion
2 cucumbers
1 summer squash
1.5 lb. potatoes
1 eggplant
1 green pepper
1 colored sweet pepper
1 head lettuce
1 lb. beans
3 lb. tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
several hot peppers
4 basil sprigs

Goldfinch Farm has working, non-working, and Will Work-for-Food shares. from the home page: Part of the 2010 Farm Crew.

I think being members of a CSA would be a wonderful memory for the kids (in addition to the fabulous food and health benefits.) I never heard of anything like this when I was young. I love the community aspect. It's just priceless. It's the icing on the cake.

(Caitlin and Little Gem Romaine)

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