I know, you thought it was Valentine's Day. And while people who live on chocolates, flowers, and restaurant food may revel in the PinkFest, those of us who like organic strawberries with our chocolate are thinking about summer and wondering what will come in our first farm box.
Until two years ago I was nervous about committing to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I liked going to the Schenectady Greenmarket and it seemed counterproductive to drive long distances to pick up food at a farm. I was also worried that there would be weird food and/or too many vegetables for us to eat in a week.
I finally decided to give it a try when I stumbled on a super-local farm that I could bike to on volunteer days. I have to admit that we did get a lot more radishes early in the season than we expected, but the super-fresh organic blueberries, strawberries, garlic, and greens more than made up for it. I cut back on growing vegetables at home and planted more cut flowers. Paying ahead for vegetables meant that we could splurge on a grass fed beef share from Gordon Farms and start getting our milk delivered at home in bottles from Meadowbrook Dairy. So not only do I get great, healthy food but I also get to feel like a princess. And we still go to the Schenectady Greenmarket and other local farm stands to fill in gaps.
When I learned that our farmer was ending his program this year, I headed to LocalHarvest.org to see what other local CSA programs are out there and I urge you to do the same. As you scroll down the list you'll be amazed at how many deliver to convenient sites. You'll want to narrow down your choices and then click over to the farm's own webpage. And pay attention to signing deadlines and discounts. I was happy to learn that Fox Creek Farm doesn't have a work requirement but does plant a You-Pick garden. I donated my early-signing discount to their new program that provides fresh food to underserved neighborhoods. Plus they deliver to a spot in Altamont that's just a mile from my house. So my princess status will be guaranteed for one more year.