Community Supported Agriculture

Growing up in cities, I’d grown accustomed to vegetables coming from large grocery stores, even though I’ve bought organic produce for years and whenever funds allowed visited farmers markets. Then I first heard the term CSA two years ago among a group of people “in the know” and was too afraid to ask what it meant. Since many people do not seem aware of the concept when I mention it,  I thought I’d do a little post about the joy I get from doing a work trade for my vegetables in one CSA, and highlighting the program.

A CSA is like a subscription service, except you are paying it forward allowing the farmer to cover costs and plant seeds. Most I’ve researched allow you to split your payments for the growing season over several months rather than one up-front lump sum, and many allow work trade arrangements if you just ask. Extra hard-working hands are usually welcome on a farm. And nothing compares to the flavor, texture and nutrition of farm fresh rather than refrigerator trucked grocery shelf produce.

If you have your own plot of land and funds to establish a good watering, soil system, and animal-fence protection, then more power to you, but if you’re like me and don’t, checking out a CSA near you is a great way to get super fresh produce from the land while supporting a farmer in your region. More and more rural CSA programs are serving urban areas, and here is a link to find registered ones near you, though many are not registered, so word of mouth is also super:  Local Harvest

Whidbey Institute Westgarden Volunteer Days
(not a CSA, but a community garden nonetheless)

Organic Farm School, Whidbey Island – Open House
OFS has a CSA that delivers to Seattle!

As a vegan, I can (almost) never have too many vegetables. But I absolutely love the fact I can “pay” for them by working in the Earth and spending time in that magical connection that gives us so much more than economic value. Something truly of the spirit feeds us by working a patch of land.

12 Birches Farm, the CSA I work trade at weekly

Kids’ Veggie Creatures at Island County Fair

Fiber Arts – Island County Fair

  1. I want to learn to dye fiber. And spin fiber. And weave fiber. And create something from sheep to design to finished project. All in time….and money.
  2. Climate change project: Each day knit a garter ridge (two rows) based on temperature for the day, choose palate of cool to warm colors and make a blanket or scarf for a friend over a year – unless it’s too hot where you are for a blanket.
  3. Yes, I won “Best Knitting Adult” for my first entry since 4th grade in a county fair and now my mom can have her hat returned just in time for August heat….

Best Vegan Potluck dish ever to feed 15+ folks. Tomatoes, parsley, red onion, avocado, black beans sprinkled in cumin, corn, all over a bed of 2 cups dried cooked quinoa (trick to cooking quinoa = 1:1 ratio to water, bring to boil, then 10 minutes only on low, turn off heat and leave lid on another 10 minutes). Sprinkle entire rainbow with 2 squeezed limes, salt, pepper. Finely chop garlic, jalapeno pepper and cilantro on the side for those who want.

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HAPPY JULY!  (Mine has been full of color and life so far)

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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