Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our local farm

For the first summer, we are going to participate in a CSA which stands for community supported agriculture. For those unfamiliar, the way it works is that a local farmer has a specified number of boxes of harvested produce or other farm fare he can supply customers on a weekly basis. Each individual or family who participates pays for the entire growing season before the start of the growing season.

CSA's help to support local farmers by ensuring funds upfront despite what weather or insects might do to his crops.  This helps the farmer with cash flow at the start of his season and keeps him from having to become overly concerned about the financial end of his business during the months of the year when most of his day is spent working the fields.  It ensures less waste and creates more awareness on the consumer's part about the source of his food and the work it takes to harvest such food.

There are other benefits as well, which I'm sure I'll write about in future posts. But, for this post I will highlight a perk our family enjoyed this past Friday. After a long day at the hospital with Judah for his pituitary stim. test, we were able to take part in our local CSA's kick off of the growing season ice cream social.

Two sets of dear friends of ours are also participating in the CSA this year. We met them at the farm and became acquainted with a handful of new friends. After enjoying some of the creamiest ice cream I've ever tasted topped with picked-from-the-field-that-morning strawberries and a chocolate sauce friends of the farm call, "yum-yum" sauce (with good reason), we strolled the fields and listened to our farmers, Tom and Sarah, explain the workings of their farm.

Anyone who knows me well knows I was in my element. Seeing the straight, plowed lines and the beginnings of  this season's harvest shoot up out of the earth, listening to the roosters crow, and watching the kids run free and play in dirt are among the simple joys that, for me, are a taste of paradise.

We thoroughly enjoyed clod hopping in our mud boots through the fields as we listened and learned from Tom and Sarah about the methods they employ that distinguish their farm as organic. After the tour, we were invited to take our pick at the first of the season red-ripe strawberries.

I have big hopes for our relationship with Tom and Sarah and Flying Plow Farm. Just from our one evening spent there, my kids already have a greater knowledge and deeper appreciation for their food and the work required to get it to the plate. In years to come and, God willing, after many hours spent volunteering at the farm (that's my plan for the kids' and my future summers), I'm trusting we'll all have only benefited further from this new found relationship.

Here are some photos from our night on the farm. Click on the picture to see all the photos.

May 18, 2012

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