Have you heard of CSAs? “Community Supported Agriculture is a direct relationship between local farmers and consumers. Consumers support the farm by purchasing shares of the harvest. In turn they receive seasonal, fresh and nutritious food for their family on a weekly schedule. By making a financial commitment to a farm, consumers become “shareholders” of the farm. Farmers usually ask shareholders to pay up-front for the food. This helps the farmer with much needed revenue at the beginning of the growing season. The shareholder then participates in the success of the farm throughout the season.” (from www.genesis-growers.com)
Genesis Growers is a farm in St. Anne’s, IL that has been delivering fruits, vegetables, and herbs to our home for two seasons.
Here’s how our CSA works. An email is sent on Wednesday and Farmer Vicki gives us some insight of what’s going on at the farm. She discloses what we are going to receive in our box, and maybe a tip or two on how to prepare the food. She writes from her heart, and we really like how she answers everything so promptly. This is a verification of her tagline “Locally grown with love and dedication.”
We have the luxury of having them drop off our box at our front door. It’s like Christmas every week to me. I am amazed how beautiful the veggies are, and how delicious the fruits taste. The colors and smells of the foods are intoxicating.
One of the interesting things is how long the food stays fresh. The lettuce you purchase at the grocery store seems to wilt and brown within a few days. The lettuce from the farm can last up to a month! And this bodes the question: How long does the food take to get from the farm through the grocery stores and to the consumer?
The CSA opens the door to creativity in the kitchen. Last year we received a lot of kale and beets. It is still a fun challenge to try new recipes for my family to enjoy. My 9 year old daughter can make homemade kale chips by herself!
Lastly, it is an inspiration that we are respecting the land. Farmer Vicki practices sustainable farming, and this has motivated us to do our part in reducing our carbon footprint. We’ve implemented a strict recycling system, we compost, and we utilize the water from our new rain barrel to water our plants. Sure, there’s even more room for improvement, but I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken.