What an exciting day! This morning we picked up our first monthly CSA allotment from Stonewall Farm. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is where customers buy a share in the year’s crop in exchange for paying at the beginning of the season. This is the first year for Stonewall Farms, located on the westside of Evansville, Indiana to have a CSA. There were a variety of shares to choose from including meat, poultry, country breakfast, and eggs. We chose the Poultry Small Share where we get one chicken per month and one dozen eggs. In this share we will also receive a turkey during the holidays. Since we figured we would eat more than one chicken a month, we also chose a Just Chicken share. Then because we paid for the whole year up front, we get an extra dozen eggs. So every month our cooler will contain two chickens and two dozen eggs. For large families they have larger quantities including their Full Meat Share which includes 20 lbs of meat.
Also, we can also order additional items, if they have them available. We had added two pounds of bacon this month, and then at the farmer’s market where we picked up our cooler, we bought pork chops and rainbow trout. The rainbow trout is the only item they do not raise, but comes from a fellow farmer in Indiana. So we are set for the month.
There are many reasons we wanted to participate in this CSA. Knowing where our meat is coming from and that it is local was important. We liked that these animals are free range grass fed with no pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, animal by-products or herbicides in the pasture or in their feed. We also like supporting our local farmers. We’ve been to the farm several times and really like these people, who originally decided to raise their own beef, pork and chicken so that their children could grow up healthy. By joining the CSA, farmers have a better idea of how to plan for future needs and gives them the upfront capital. So it’s really a win-win situation for all of us. Oh, I forgot to mention the taste. We tried the eggs, bacon, and ground beef these last two months. We could not believe the difference in the taste, especially the bacon! We’re looking forward to the chicken and pork chops.
If you think your family may be too small to join a CSA, check in your local area.
Now to our local harvesting. Today I picked our first blueberries.
Nothing to get real excited about. In fact, the total was 15 blueberries! I noticed the birds are starting to watch them, so I moved the cds from the cherry tree to the blueberry area. But it looks like all of our bushes will have blueberries this year. I’m looking forward to those blueberry smoothies and muffins.
Those blueberries look so yummy! CSA sounds great, I’m reading a lot about it on blogs! Sadly we don’t have anything like it in Germany, I’d love to participate in something like it!
I had my first CSA pick up this week as well, it was so exciting to be at the farm and get all the fresh produce! We don’t have chicken, meat, etc., just vegetables, but I think I’ve found a local CSA that I join for the poultry and eggs. Since the gardening season is just starting here in the northeast, we got kale, tatsoi, turnip greens and 4 big beautiful heads of lettuce. I think it’s great that CSAs are popping up all over the country, it is a wonderful food model for local, organic food.
Linda, That’s great. We grow most of our own veggies so don’t need to buy many, but that type of CSA is so wonderful also. We have a local veggie CSA, but the last I heard there was a waiting list to get on it! I also think it’s great that soon everyone will know what a CSA is.
Kristina, I read in wikipedia that this movement started in the 60s in Germany, Switzerland and Japan. Here is a blog about one in Germany. http://www.psfk.com/2010/04/subscription-based-farming-in-germany.html
Glad to hear that you are in a poultry CSA! And your bowl of blueberries — even though there aren’t many berries, it’s still exciting to have your own bushes starting to produce.
Usually our cherry trees are filled with the Cedar Waxwings but this year the weather has been so wacked up, they left before they finished their harvest. Now the Wood Thrushes and Robins are going like gangbusters and everything is purple. If you know what I mean….lol
Lynn, It is always exciting to see the blueberries start to come on. As I’ve mentioned before, blueberry picking is my meditation time. And this year we will have many more. Every day I’m getting a few more.
I was happy that we did get a cobbler and 5 2-cup bags of cherries since we didn’t get any last year. But gotta watch those birdies!
Wow, I didn’t know that! The problem with the german model for us though is that you just buy the plot of land and have to plant and maintain the garden for yourself whereas with the CSA you simply buy the produce of a local farmer in advance and get it delivered fresh if I am reading it correctly?
That would be great for us, especially with meat, since I don’t eat much and I’d love to know that the little meat I do eat comes from a local farmer who treats his animals well.
I simply don’t have the time and will to tend to a whole vegetable garden, I struggle with the plants on my balcony enough already 😀
Kristina, Oh that is a problem. Yes, you are right about our CSAs that we pay a year ahead and then pick up once a month. We don’t eat much meat either, but what we do eat is from them or another local farm. Gardens do take up a lot of time. I’m just thankful I have a hubby who loves to garden and we’re both retired, which gives us time to do what we’ve both wanted to do for years.