I feel so excited but nervous about signing up for a CSA (community-supported agriculture). CSA is a system that allows a farmer to sell “shares” of her farm produce to local consumers, typically in a weekly box of fruit and vegetables. If you haven’t yet jumped on the farm-share bandwagon, consider the pros as listed by localharvest.org/csa:
Advantages for farmers:
- Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
- Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
- Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow
Advantages for consumers:
- Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
- Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
- Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
- Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
- Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown
Furthermore, CSA produce (as far as I can tell) is naturally gluten-free. Our blogger of the month, Melissa, takes advantage of her GF farm produce to blog all the recipes that she invents so as to deal with her farm-share vegetables. The biggest problem with CSA is that consumers tend to receive a huge amount of a few types of vegetables for a long period of time, and taste buds can tire of turnips after a month of not much else! Thank goodness, then, that celiacs have a place in the blog community that helps them find a GF use for all their produce.
Melissa’s blog, Gluten Free For Good, has recently offered recipes for beet cupcakes, rhubarb blueberry sherbet, matchstick salad, kohlrabi and spinach salad, kale chard and mushroom lasagna, garlic scape pesto, green smoothie, parsley dill and tomato pasta, beet coconut chocolate chip ice cream, and beet and spinach salad. If you’d like to eat at her house, you’re not alone. Everything sounds scrumptious and is inspired by her Colorado CSA.
“It is a shame to be caught up in something that does not make you tremble with joy.”
That quote is from legendary culinary queen, Julia Childs, but the thing I love most about it is that applies to so many aspects of my life. It’s a personal mantra of sorts, from farm-fresh food to outdoor adventure to family and friends. Yes, life should be all about trembling with joy!
I don’t advertise on this blog, but I do advocate healthy living and a huge part of that is a focus on nutrient-dense foods. Because I have celiac disease and want to avoid the pit-falls that often accompany autoimmune conditions, I choose high-quality, organic foods and steer clear of the vitality-zapping junk that makes up the Standard American Diet (very SAD indeed).
Those of you who have been following this blog know I support my farmer friends at Grant Family Farms. I thrive on their organic fruits, veggies and pastured eggs and as a nutrition therapist, I know exactly why. It’s my medicine (lucky me). Nothing like fresh garlic scapes sautéed with summer squash, served with wild rice and a few ounces of wild-caught salmon for a dose of healing flavor. Or fresh, omega-rich eggs that look and taste much better then their store-bought counterparts. There’s no comparison.
So, while I don’t advertise on my blog, I won’t hesitate to encourage you to jump on the “eat healthy and eat local” bandwagon.
In her other life, Melissa works as a Nutritional Therapist, a yoga instructor, and an exercise expert—exactly the sort of person you want writing your CSA cookbook! Thank you, Melissa, for helping celiacs go healthy, local…and ultra-tasty.