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Saturday, November 22, 2008

CSA Articles

I was perusing the IDigMyGarden forums and saw there were new posts on the CSA thread someone started about a month ago. One of the posts had a link to a series of articles about being a CSA member in the Washington Post. Each article Chronicles the weekly CSA haul.

I am still reading the chronicle (I've gotten to August 20th) and I have been struck at how small the shares are until late august. I guess we are better than most at keeping quantity, quality and variety. Even in early spring we can generally come up with 8 or 9 items to put in the CSA share. Even as early as early April I could find more than 4 or 5 items either growing in hoop houses, under row covers or still left over from storage. Granted, most will be leafy green things like kale, chard, cilantro, lettuce, arugula. But I could also include garlic (if it still exists that late in the garlic cycle) or garlic powder, radishes, chives, leeks, dried beans, dried herbs and/or honey. By mid May add to the variety asparagus, peas (shelling, sugar snap and snow), zucchini, cucumbers (both from a hoop house), strawberries, broccoli, cabbages, scallions, tarragon, oregano, sage, winter savory, red turnips, etc..

I am now reading the first entry for September. The late summer shares from this farm are quite nice; sweet corn (something we no longer grow), water melon, peaches (something we hope to be able to offer in 4 to 5 years-we have a couple of trees but the deer have had their way with them and well...) blackberries, heirloom maters, peppers, basil, etc.. the writer says her son questioned the need for her CSA share because she already had a lot of produce in the fridge. But she realizes she has to pick up this food and be faced with the challenge of what to do with it all (and so far, every week, she uses everything in the share)

All in all a really good read for either the CSA farmer or anyone who is a member of a CSA or is thinking of joining one. I know I am learning a bit and it is always interesting to see what other CSA's are doing and how the members feel about their CSA and CSA's in general.

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