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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

A few years ago when we lived in Nashville, we were a bit disappointed with their farmer’s market. It was not as nice or easy to get to as the one I remembered from my days living in Ohio before that. But then my wife and I went to an Earth Day festival three or four years ago and there were booths for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) from local farms. We talked to a few farmers and were extremely intrigued. Of course, we’d heard of CSAs before but the thought of not having a say in what we picked up for each share turned us off–temporarily. That all changed when a farmer that day told us how it’s a matter of eating what is in season and fresh. We were sold. So we did our CSA for two seasons and absolutely loved it.

Then we moved to Madison, Wisconsin in April of 2010. Madison, of course, is home to the greatest farmer’s market known to man, the Dane County Farmer’s Market. I’m not exaggerating here, it’s awesome. It goes all the way around the Capitol on Saturday mornings and has farmers who grow produce as well as meats, and there are cheeses, baked goods and all kinds of other amazing local foods. So last year we just enjoyed what the market had to offer.

But this year, we had the CSA jones again. A friend told us about Driftless Organics, and after visiting their website once and reading about the farm and their CSA…well, let’s just say I wrote the check and mailed it that day.

There is a small bit of difference in the Driftless CSA than the Nashville one–they grow a very diverse and interesting set of crops at this farm, and encourage you to try things you haven’t tried before. We’ve had pea vines, green garlic, baby fennel and kohlrabi. We’ve also had some of the best green beans we’ve ever tasted, and some incredibly sweet beets. We are, of course, looking forward to summer favorites like peppers, tomatoes and sweet corn.

The photo above is of a meal we made a few weeks ago that included some fresh yellow squash from our CSA; and some roasted beets with sauteed beet greens. And once I find the time and creative energy to develop some more interesting recipes using our share, I will post them here. Meanwhile, if you haven’t yet tried a CSA–let me tell you, you’re missing out. There is no better feeling than the feeling of supporting a local farmer, eating what’s fresh (and I do mean fresh), and enjoying produce that is 100% organic.

  

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