CS-Yay! I mean, CSA.
That's pure plant-based enthusiasm right there. It's been more than five years since I was able to participate in a farm share, which is about five years too many. A born-and-raised Vermont girl, I've always had a keen sense of where my food comes from, and have tried to keep the distance between its maker and my table as short as possible. However, when traveling the world without an apartment for two years (only a suitcase!), there were plenty of details to keep track of, and a sense of community around food was not one of them.
Yes, food was a huge part of our travels and experience, but the moments were often intensely cultural, local and fleeting. After two years settling down in Manhattan and now, living that three-makes-family life in Jersey City, I've decided that it's time to reconnect with a big ole pile of local veggies delivered weekly.
I was excited to not only discover a myriad of JC Farmer's Markets, but the fact that our local awesome market, Goods & Greens hosts New Paltz, NY-based Veritas Farms each week to provide CSAs to local JC'ers (UPDATE: since Goods & Greens closed, Madame Claude Wine Shop picked up the slack. Which was convenient and made me into a summer wine-o).
What's a "CSA"? It stands for "Community Supported Agriculture" and that name really says it all. Individuals (families, individuals, friends, partners, etc.) sign up for a share of a farm's annual crop, but pay for the share upfront in the season. This allows the farmers to pay for the materials and resources they need to get through the year, and allows us "shareholders" to enjoy picking up a weekly bounty of gorgeous, green, fresher-than-fresh luscious goodness throughout the summer and fall. Like this:
One of the best parts of participating in local agriculture is reconnecting with what-is-in-season-when. So right now, for instance, we're enjoying a lot of greens. I mean, A LOT. Escarole, romaine, arugula, herbs like sage, little turnips and a few others.
The farm keeps us updated via their Facebook page and through personal emails as to how things are going, what's growing, what bugs they are fighting off and what they are planting next. They even share recipes for those "what is this, and what the hell do I make with it?" moments that repeat themselves throughout the season.
It's so fun, and I can't wait for the World's Cutest Human to be old enough to understand the who, what, where and why of her food (and perhaps visit the farm, if they'd have us!). Right now, she is just excited that we pick up the share next to Hamilton Park, and we can therefore go see the dogs and play on the swings.
Whatever, works for me.
More about Veritas Farms via the interwebs: