Every Wednesday from late June through September we park our car along the driveway of an organic farm, and fill bags with beautiful produce. Occasionally we plunk four dollars into a can in the fridge in exchange for farm-fresh organic eggs or six dollars in a can on the table for a container of fresh honey. Otherwise, no money leaves my wallet.
Most days we play with the dogs, the kids play on the jungle gym, and usually we're in for a nice walk up the hill to pick berries or flowers. We often see the free-range chickens that provide the eggs. Sometimes we glimpse the turkeys, marveling at how quickly they grow. In the Autumn, the kids make and jump into piles of leaves while I fill our bags with the farm's bounty.
I love that this is part of our lives. I am delighted that my kids see where their food is coming from, including their Thanksgiving turkey - and get to talk to the farmer as well. I appreciate that I can pay for all of this earlier in the year when we usually have a little more money to spend. For approximately $12.50 a week, we get pounds upon pounds of organic produce: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, kale, collards, asian greens, lettuce, carrots, beets, onions, garlic, scallions, basil, eggplant, radishes, green beans, kohlrabi, swiss chard, blueberries, raspberries, and so much more. Some weeks offer different things that others, so we rarely get sick of eating one particular thing.
My kids have learned to make everything from squash pickles to kale chips. They've experienced a rainbow of vegetables, and love eating them...usually. The rainbow of carrots sometimes don't last more than a few hours. The cherry tomatoes have a similar fate. The berries rarely make it off the farm.
The Maple View Farm CSA, and community supported agriculture everywhere, is an invaluable resource, and a cost-effective way to fill our fridge and freezer with fresh, organic produce at a fraction of what it costs at the grocery store.