Beginning with the first week of June, we pick up a weekly box of vegetables (and sometimes fruits) at our local farmers market. We’ve joined the CSA program from VanHoutte Farms in Armada, MI – a family farm located only 30 miles from our house.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture: think of it as a subscription farm. We pay a fee at the beginning of the growing year, and in return, each week, we get a big box of top-quality produce. There’s no hassle at all; we pick up the box at the Farmers Market right here in town.
We love it.
Our meals have become increasingly focused around the best vegetables we’d ever eaten. We’ve discovered vegetables, new to us, that became favorites. The way I planned menus for the week changed: now I focus on the weekly box of vegetables, and meat or fish becomes an afterthought. We eat fresh peas only in early spring, when the plants thrive. Once the weather turns hotter, the peas are finished, but the green beans come in. We’re connected to the weather in a very real way.
And the boxes! Oh, the boxes are wonderful. It’s been 4 weeks so far, and every weekly box has been full of gloriously fresh produce. This hasn’t been sent to a warehouse, stored for a week or three, and trucked across the country. Our vegetables come from a family farm just across the county line, and the only way to get fresher would be go out and pick them ourselves.
Stay tuned to see photos of the weekly CSA boxes.