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By Jessica T

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About this blog: I'm a late thirties mother of a ten-year-old and infant twins. My family moved to Menlo Park 6 years ago from Virginia - where I grew up, went to college, got married, had my first born, and got an MBA (in that order). I'm a manag...  (More)

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The farm share

Uploaded: Jun 16, 2014
If you want to eat and garden better, there's a simple solution - the farm share. For years, I've maintained that if you are filling your compost bin by the end of a weekend, it's proof that you've been eating well. I love eating out as much as anyone, but home cooking is better, more affordable, and much more healthy (ask any chef you know - they'll tell you that restaurant food tends to have a lot of extra butter, cream, salt, and sugar). My favorite books about the wonders of home cooking are by Laurie Colwin: Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen and More Home Cooking. If you visit my home and ask to borrow one of these books, I will say no. Buy your own.

When we moved to California in 2007, we enthusiastically joined a farm collective, but we let our membership lapse in 2011, because we'd begun to feel haunted by the endless bags of vegetables in our fridge. Then a few weeks ago a friend reminded us of the farm share. Pick-up is at their home, so why not give it another try, he said? After a brief deliberation, we decided that our newly enlarged family might be able to consume all those veggies. We gave it another whirl, and it's been nothing short of a saving grace. Suddenly we are eating more vegetables and cooking new dishes. Best of all, we have enough food to get us through the week (no small feat!)

Readers know that my husband, Coach T., routinely cooks for our family since I often get home too late to put dinner on the table before my kids starve. This Sunday, I asked Coach T. what he wanted for Father's Day. "Will you cook like 4 meals and clean up after them?" I did my best - I cooked at least 3 meals, and, well, helped clean-up… (Our twins make such an indescribable mess - it's enough to make one mad!) I let Coach T. sleep in and got up with the babies before 7. While they had their first breakfast, I made chocolate chip and banana pancakes. When it was time for lunch, I reached into the farm share bag and took out a handful of crookneck yellow squash to make an impromptu pasta primavera. For dinner, I looked to the farm share newsletter for a new recipe: roasted russet potatoes, swiss chard with red onion, and chicken.

Coach T. has always harbored a desire to become a farmer (but alas, he has a brown thumb, and I don't like dirt so much.) He tells me that the farm share newsletter that our favorite Watsonville farmer pens is a highlight each week. The farmer, Andy Griffin, gives you a peek into the world of growing food - a distant reality for those of us who have grown so accustomed to just purchasing what we need at a grocery store. We also love to visit the weekly farmer's market to buy loads and loads of fresh fruit and chat with the farmers. Summer fruit is the best excuse not to indulge in dessert (and I do need an excuse). I'm glad that my kids get to taste a variety of different flavors and have an idea where their food comes from.

We are lucky to live in a community with abundant fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have a family to feed, consider joining a CSA this season, support your local farmers, and get cooking!

Comments

Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Farm Collective ... CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) ... ??? I've never heard of those terms, what is that?


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community,
on Jun 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm

We've been able to get half orders of CSA boxes, and prior to that, we simply split one w/a neighbor.


Posted by lindaisenberg, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:04 am

lindaisenberg is a registered user.

Yes me too. I have never heard about any of this. Can you just elaborate?


Posted by Jessica T, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Jessica T is a registered user.

Hi readers,

Community Supported Agriculture allows you to buy a "share" in a farmer's harvest. What it practically means is paying to receive a weekly bag of produce and then picking it up at a chosen location. Hmmm is right - splitting a box is a great idea for those that can't eat their way through a box of vegetables in a given week.


Posted by RW, a resident of another community,
on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I've really liked the CSA "Eating with the Seasons". You can pick the produce that you want each week (usually from a list of 10-20 of each fruits and veggies) and they deliver to many locations around the Bay Area (pick up near your home, your work, your gym...whatever is convenient). The fruit and vegetables I get are fresh, unbruised, and delicious. You can also get eggs, meat, cheese, etc as add-ons.

My family consists of me and my husband and we find the extra small bag gives us plenty of produce.

Yum! Yum!


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