Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Eating Locally

We belong to both a meat and a vegetable CSA. The CSA (or Community Supported Agriculture) concept is one we've supported for a number of years. You basically share in the risk by paying up front for a season's worth of produce. That way the farmer has the money to run the farm, and the members get fresh, local stuff all season long. It usually works to our advantage - I typically feel like I got more than my money's worth. Occasionally the farmer ends up feeling really glad that the risk got spread among many people, as is the case this year with the tomatoes. We often get between 10 and 20 pounds of tomatoes a week when they're in season (plus the pick your own cherry and plum varieties), but this summer there was a blight that wiped out nearly the entire crop.

That said, even in the less productive seasons we get tons of delicious stuff. This year is no different. I'm not always so good at using everything we get, but I've really been trying this time. I've gotten much better, I must say. Our meat CSA has a monthly pickup, and I am always careful to make menus that incorporate whatever meat we have with the veggies.

Last week while eating dinner, I realized that with the exception of the butter, celery, and seasonings, the entire meal came either from our farm memberships or a local farm stand. We had Shepherd's Pie with ground lamb, corn on the cob, fresh picked green beans, and a fruit plate with cantaloupe, nectarines, apples, and fresh picked raspberries. It was very satisfying.

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