I was recently at a County Fair and saw someone wearing a t-shirt that read, Support local farms or watch the houses grow.
It gave me anxiety. I started worrying that local farms might be an endangered species. That one day I would be talking to my grandkids and trying to explain to them what it was like back in my day when the now extinct farms were providing us with their glorious bounty. It made me want to shout out to anyone that might listen, “Farms=food! Buy fresh! Buy local! Support your local farmer! Know your farmer, trust your food!”
And thus the reason for this stream of consciousness…
I hope to pass on to my beach rose the importance of helping local farms and farmers. The U.S worries more about lowly paid workers in Asia than how we treat and pay our country’s farmers! And our farms and farmers are hurting.
There are many ways to help them:
- Grocery stores are starting to carry in season produce from local farmstands.
- Visit a farmer’s market (According to NPR, “There were 8,268 farmers’ markets operating in 2014, up 180 percent since 2006.”).
- Consider signing up for a CSA, community supported agriculture, where a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
The above link will help you find your local farms that are participating in the CSA program.
CSA’s are awesome! I have my own little garden at home & frequent the farmer’s markets often to buy my meats and veggies/fruits I am not ambitious enough to grow. But a friend of mine was going on vacation for 3 weeks and asked if I would like to partake in her “share” at a local CSA. Here’s part of the email that came to me from the farm…
The farm was pristine and the food was picturesque (see photos above). I was allowed to take home a little carton of potatoes (about 6), a head of lettuce, a little carton of sunchokes (never had in my life, was so excited to try and found that they were lovely veggies that taste like water chestnuts), some bok choy, a red & yellow onion, carrots, a gorgeous head of lettuce, cabbage, beets, turnips, kohlrabi ( something else I’d never had which tastes amazing sliced thinly and sauteed in butter, like a much milder broccoli trunk) & a dozen eggs.
I didn’t even know what to do with my generous bounty! So I made a mouth watering root vegetable soup. With bacon.
…more on that recipe later…