Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our Community Supported Agriculture "CSA" Farm

This is an exciting week in the Vintage Victuals kitchen - it's the first week that we got a basket of produce from our Community Supported Agriculture ("CSA") farm.

Maybe you've heard about the CSA movement, maybe you haven't. Either way, here's the skinny. A CSA farm operates a lot like a corporation. In the fall, you pay upfront to buy a "share." The farm uses the money to buy seeds and equipment for the following growing season, and then shareholders reap the dividends throughout the summer as the farm harvests each phase of produce. At our farm, a share gets you one huge basket of produce that you can pick up once a week. Starting around Mother's Day every year, we start picking up weekly baskets from our farm, packed with fresh veggies, greens, herbs, and fruits.

CSAs are considered part of the "green" movement for many reasons. First, many CSA farms are use organic farming methods. What's more, buying locally-grown produce helps the environment because it reduces the amount of pollution that results from shipping food over long distances. Finally, CSAs provide fresher, less-processed food resulting in better nutrition for our bodies.

Beyond the green, there are lots more reasons to belong to a CSA farm. We love being able to support the farmers in our community. We also enjoy the crazy varieties of vegetables that we get from the farm - lots of obscure veggies and heirloom varieties. They are loads of fun to cook with, and the produce from the farm tastes so much fresher and more flavorful than anything you can find in a grocery store.

Our farm co-op is family operated. Hubby's mom and dad have belonged for years, but this is only our second or third year taking part in the goodness.

So read on to find out more about our baskets and our farm! And get excited because the next several months are going to be full of recipes with great produce!

~ First Basket of the Season ~

Every week, we bring an empty basket to the farm,
and we trade it for a full one, like this.

They always attach a tiny chalk board
listing the contents of the basket for the week.

We also get a dozen farm fresh eggs with the basket.

~ The Barn ~

~ Out in the Gardens ~

Pole Beans






Bunches and bunches of beautiful greens!

~ In the Shade of the Fruit Trees
Not just veggies - we get some fruit through the summer, too!




~ The Chicken Coop ~
The basket also comes with farm fresh eggs.
We save our egg cartons throughout the rest of the year
and bring them to the farm to be re-used.

And what's a farm without a faithful hound to guard the chicken coop? Here is Copper, the beagle, who has a little house next to the coop. And, yes, he is named after the dog in the movie The Fox and the Hound.

~ Back Toward the Flower Beds ~
No basket is complete without a small bouquet of fresh-picked flowers.
They have beds and beds packed with gorgeous blooms.

Bachelor Button

Pink Iris

Johnny Jump-Ups

For more info on CSA farms or to find a farm co-op in your area, this website is a great resource.


RiverWed070707 said...

You take the most gorgeous photos!
We just joined a CSA this year too, but don't get to pick up our first box for another 2 weeks. I just went out to tour the farm today and it looks so far behind yours -- seems most stuff is just starting to poke through. Great article!

Deals, Steals and Heels said...

this is so cool!!

Anonymous said...

WOW ELLIE!! You have an amazing CSA!! That's awesome! ANd I must admit I'm jealous of your boutiful basket of fresh produce! :)

The Charmed Life Online said...

Your CSA farm is beautiful! They have done a great job making it attractive and fun to visit. Your photography really shows it off.

Love this post, it is really gearing me up for fresh vegetable all summer long!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Ekkkkk I am so jealous! My CSA farm is full this year. Sighhh.

Enjoy it all!


womanwithawhisk/geekchicbride said...

Gorgeous basket!

the happy family said...

gorgeous pics! i wish we had a CSA. i love the challenge of it!

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Gorgeous pics and I look forward to seeing how you use that wonderful produce!

Anonymous said...

your pictures are just beautiful!!!! I can't wait to see how you use all those greens!

Happiness Is... said...

Such a neat idea and gorgeous pictures! I don't think I am good enough at cooking to properly use all of that produce!

Melanie said...

I need to look for a CSA in my area. Those pictures make me feel all nostalgic about growing up on a three acre family farm. We had everything and I adored it. thanks for reminding me how much I loved it!

Unknown said...

Hi Ellie - Just stumbled upon your site and LOVE it! Have lots of squash in today's CSA basket (I'm in Nashville) and used your squash casserole recipe. Major yum!
Tried Kale chips earlier this year with the first CSA bounty of all-things-kale, and surprisingly loved them.
Enjoyed reading about your Jekyll Island adventures; it's been on our short to-do list, and your reviews are inspiring. We love Savannah and Charleston, but sometimes just need something different and beachy.
I'll look forward to digging into many of your recipes. Great blog!!


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