Once upon a time, I didn't work on a farm. I also couldn't make anything in the kitchen (except coffee). Even then, however, I loved food. Flavors, textures, and colors on a plate make me giddy with anticipation: trying new dishes is a perpetual treat! My Instagram feed reads like a never-ending cookbook. Big ideas popped into my head one January about healthier food for our growing family, and finally developing some culinary skills; late one night, I started Googling CSAs.
Within minutes, I found an option that delivered to our then-North Carolina city. The produce was organic, it fit within our budget, and I signed us right up. A week later, we woke up to the first box on our porch. We had no control over the share contents, and especially as we were still kitchen novices, much of our weekly delivery went to waste. The vegetables were definitely fresh and of great quality, but what do I remember most about that first brush with CSA years ago? The growing pile of unused potatoes and onions in my kitchen.
What I don't remember, honestly, is the name of the farm we subscribed to. I never met the farmer or any of the crew; it was located too far from our home for an easy visit. Other than our installment payments, we had no communication with, or connection to, the people growing our food. I'm grateful for the late night whim because of where it led, but if my experience with farm shares had stopped there, this story would have a very different ending.
Ten years later, I find myself looking out at Willowsford and the surrounding neighborhoods from the Farm offices, and I am awestruck by the incredible opportunities that come from farming in suburbia! We are right there next to our members, and every week through this newsletter, social media, and chance encounters at the Farm stand or along the delivery route, we swap stories about our lives on the Farm and yours next door. I know so many of your children, which of your jobs gets busier during tax season, and who's got a new puppy.
This is what makes for a vibrant and thriving CSA. We are more than grocers, more than delivery drivers; we are part of the amazing community created when all of you chose our farm for the freshest, best tasting food. More importantly, when you chose to open your homes to our farm shares, you also opened your hearts to our crew and our mission. The more entries I make in events calendar for the upcoming year, the happier feel, knowing that each tour, cooking class, and volunteer shift is another day when we stand shoulder to shoulder with our members and see CSA through the most important eyes: yours.
Meal Plan Week #7
- Lamb (yes, lamb!) Shepherd’s Pie... for something different, top this with mashed Sweet Potatoes!
- Baked Salmon with Chickpeas & Mustard Greens
- Homemade Pork Tenderloin Ramen Noodles and Veggies
- Sirloin and Shallots with Parmesan Bok Choy
- Start your day with a Carrot Ginger Smoothie
Eat well and be well,
Ashley, Collin, John, Lex, the cozy high tunnels, growing seed libraries, mama pigs and laying hens, and the Black Dog Squad