Saturday, June 14, 2008

Community Supported Agriculture

I make a weekly trip to the market, to get my vegetables; because by doing so I support local producers (or as local as they can get in a land-locked, cold prairie region). These may not be 'organic' certified vegetables and fruit, but because they are transported less, they are exposed to less chemicals- some growers are pesticide fee (which is good enough for me). Organic produce is great, and yes, I can taste the difference. But my choices are more guided by sustainability and economy (I don't make six-figures to support my organic-only vegetable addiction- yet).
Elanas Pantry has long been a source of vegan and gluten free recipes for me, and now she has become more of a role model. Today, she posted how her family gets fresh produce, the day it is picked directly from the farmer. Her family bought a share in a CSA model, where produce is delivered directly to her each week during the harvest season. Can you just imagine a pick-up truck pulling up to your house/condo/apartment and unloading buckets of the freshest, local? Your vegetables would last so much longer, they could be pesticide free (depending on the grower) and the carbon footprint of transporting vegetables cross-country to your grocery store is eliminated.
This makes me think that we should look into if one exists in our area; and if not, then I will just continue making my weekly trip to the farmer's market. If you visit a market, make sure you get to know the people selling- are they the grower? If not, do they know the grower? Where is the farm? How far is it from the market? When do they harvest their crop? Try to find the farmer who is selling directly- giving him all your cash instead of a middle-person pandering his hard-grown wares.
Off to the market!

No comments: