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The Living Farm – Joining a CSA

Thursday, my assistant Renee and I received our first newsletter from The Living Farm CSA in Paonia, Colorado  tn_carrotsP1010498(Community Sustained Agriculture) we have just joined.  Although I dream of a fabulous garden in the five large raised beds Duane built, the reality is, my gardening skills have yet to yield enough produce for Mary and I to live on.

Renee has a small family of 3, and Mary and I are a family of two, so together we decided that it is time for both families to put our money where our mouth is, so-to-speak, and take the plunge to eat more organically and in particular, LOCALLY by investing in one 40 week CSA share commitment.

tn_spinach beds 1Eating locally, also known as, becoming a locavore, is defined “as collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies – one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is locally integrated”  is a topic I will take up in more depth another day

It is exciting to me because the family we are buying our produce live in my town and they are not strangers to me.  The Gillespie family mom, Lynn, wrote the book Cinder Block Gardening (now out of print) that inspired Duane to build the raised beds in my back yard.  They are also the same family who has been  producing fresh Mesculan Greens that I have been buying at the local grocery store for several years.tn_cherokeeP1010340

So when Renee discovered  The Living Farm CSA was starting this month, we decided to join because unlike other CSA’s in our area, the deliveries will be for 40 weeks starting next week (March 20) and going through December.

tn_tomatoesP1010153We have been promised fresh tomatoes by June, which in Colorado is just barely past the frost free date, so early season fresh tomatoes and strawberries, that have been locally grown in the Living Farm’s greenhouses was another big reason we decided to take the plunge and make the commitment.

In our first weekly email newsletter,   Lynn writes about their new CSA:

“This is more than just weekly produce. This is a chance for you to get connected with the land and the farm. I want to take you on a journey of fine food, seasons, loss and triumph. A farm is a living breathing entity all on its own. Then we add the cycles of life, death, hot and cold, wet and dry, wind, bugs and disasters. What we are left with is miracles, life force and skill.

You will be able to taste the hard work, the love and the dedication to bring you this fine food.  New varieties of food that you didn’t even know existed will appear on your dinner plate. Old favorites will spring forth with amazing new and delectable tastes.tn_sheephelpingcleanup sunshinegardenP1010106

If you will allow yourself to go beyond “filling the void” and really embrace the local organic food you will be amazed at what you find. My favorite part of the farm is giving people the “ah ha” moment. When they realize the vast difference of the food and how they feel and function after eating the organic local food.”

Our newsletter advised us that our first pick-up will include Bok Choy, a vegetable I have never tried and don’t know anything about and even included a simple recipe for preparing the Bok Choy that sounds delicious!  Here is the recipe:

Stir Fried Bok Choy (taken from Robin Miller-food network)

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
8 cups chopped bok choy
2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add bok choy and soy sauce and cook 3-5 minutes until greens are wilted and stalks are crisp-tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If  hope you will be inspired to investigate what CSA opportunities exist in your area and consider supporting family friendly farming.

In the next few months I will be writing more about our experiences and hope you will follow our adventure and share your family’s experiences with Community Supported Agriculture.tn_combineP1010236

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1 comment to The Living Farm – Joining a CSA

  • This will be our third year attempting a food garden…

    Year One: Failed miserably

    Year Two: We did much better, but only reaped about a bushel altogether of the edibles…*: )

    This Year: Hope Garden is expanding and we are more experienced, so visions of home grown goodies still fill our dreams and hope keeps our hands diggin’ and dirty!

    We are blessed with an abundant resource of CSA possibilities in our area. It’s great that you support localvorianism! Sustaining a food garden is definitely a skill that requires a learning curve and our small local farmers are definitely modern day heros IMHO.

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