Monday, June 10, 2013

Going Local - CSA Glory

It's been two months since I've posted - I know.  I'm sorry.  I have a list of excuses, none of which are interesting or justifiable.  But I'd like to think that merely having a list is sufficient justification.

Stock photo because I've consumed too much
of my CSA for a photo do to the quantity justice.
As spring transitions into summer, one of my favorite things is the wealth of produce variety that arises in the weekly market.  Piles of potatoes morph into stockpiles of strawberries.  First asparagus, then blueberries and peas, and the next thing you know squash is long gone and you get to enjoy colorful meals yet again.  So long, beta carotene; I'll see you in the fall.

I love the new produce in the spring.  It's what incentivized me to get out of bed and to the market last year.  This year, I can proudly say that, motivated largely by sloth, I have joined a CSA.  The idea of supporting local farmers is something I've begun to feel quite strongly about.  Not only are you helping your community, you're cutting down on your own carbon footprint by not buying strawberries from Chile in December.  I like being able to go see where my food is grown, or in some cases, where my cows and pigs pasture.  Why buy something that's traveled thousands of miles, was picked before it was ripe so it could ripen on a plane, as opposed to on the vine where that process should be happening?  It just makes less sense to me.  I'd rather pay the premium to help my local farmers and get guaranteed fresh, chemical free produce, and forgo a few meals out or a new pair of shoes.

I have been a member of the Genuine Food meat CSA since April.  Vegetarians, I know you're disappointed in me.  But you know what?  I can't eat seitan, so get off my back.  Once a month, I get 10lbs of pork and beef products, for an average of $7/lb.  $7/lb, mind you, is a steal compared to what the equivalent of organic meat from Whole Foods would cost you.  And, again, I've seen the cows.  They chill in a pasture and have a pretty awesome life.  It's a local farmer, and the cost of transporting the meat to Baltimore is far less than a grass fed cow coming to me from Argentina.  What's not to love?

My veggie CSA also started last week.  After much (some) research, I settled on One Straw Farm.  I had first heard of them back in the fall of 2011 when I went to see a screening of Cafeteria Man, and they were a member of the panel discussion that followed the film.  Charm City Cook always tweets/blogs/instagrams her love for One Straw Farm, and various friends and colleagues had only good things to say.  So from now until November, I'll enjoy 8 shares of local, organic goodness that I pick up weekly at Mill Valley General on 28th and Sisson.

So you're new to Bmore.  You should at least consider signing up for a CSA.  You're supporting your local farmers, keeping money in the community, helping the environment, and putting organic food in your system.  Everyone wins.

For a list of other CSAs in the area, please go here.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I wish I could help you with your massive quantity of leafy greens!