CSA does not stand for Crisp Salad Arrangement: There’s so much more!

I just signed up for a Community-supported agriculture (CSA) share from Dartmouth’s Organic Farm.

For $90, the Farm provides each shareholder with 9 weekly deliveries of tasty veggies throughout the growing season:

Salad fixings for 4, weekly providing tomatoes, cucumbers, and greens. Each bag will also hold a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, including…

Sungold cherry tomatoes
baby carrots
sugar snap peas
summer squash
green beans
purplette onions
scallions
broccoli
beets
and basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, and sweet marjoram!

One share consists of 9 weekly deliveries over the summer term, and all these fresh, organic vegetables will only cost you $90 for the summer. The first 15 sign-ups will receive a free U-pick pumpkin come October, and everyone who signs up on Tuesday will be entered into a raffle to receive a free pint of Farm-made maple cream.

All in all people from Phator purchased 5 shares, which probably contributed to the fact that the CSA sold out in about 2 hours! The students manning the booth were a little surprised (and not a bit unhappy) when I told them I was purchasing so many shares! My guess is that the strong support for the program this summer means that the Farm will consider expanding the program next year, which would be great!

Some people had questions about precisely what “Salad fixings for 4” entailed. From talking with the student farmers, it sounds like we get 3-4 small heads of lettuce, 4 tomatoes (more when they really get growing) and some cucumbers.

Although this CSA isn’t quite as extensive as other CSAs in the area (for example we don’t get bread, eggs, or jam), for the amount of veggies that we are going to get, I don’t think that any other program can beat the low price of $10/week. I’ll try to do a comparison of the Organic Farm CSA and other CSAs during this summer in case you’re interested in signing up for one of these programs next year.

CSAs are great because they provide a way for you to get really fresh food and support a local farm or group of farms in your area. I’m psyched to have a CSA from the Dartmouth Organic Farm because I’ve been there. I’ve picked berries from bushes and eaten warm tomatoes from the fields. I’ve jumped into the river, dried in the warm sun, and gone back to the fields to pick things.

Most of us spend our days trapped inside offices, working on computers and staring at screens filled with images and numbers and all sorts of modern-era frou frou clutter. After a day-in-day-out schedule of that, one might almost go crazy. But there’s a fix: Take an hour some day and go down to the farm, take off your shoes, feel the dirt with your toes as you walk around, and just sit for a while and watch the food grow. It’ll put a smile on your face.

–Q

UPDATE: Lora won the raffle and is getting the pint of maple cream. Hooray!

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