veggie tales

After a lunch which ,on my part, consisted of the flesh of two different species of animal (plus peanut butter!) Amber and I filled out the paperwork to purchase a CSA share for 2009.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and can take many forms: weekly boxes of vegetables, half a cow (processed), chickens, eggs, even fresh, contraband milk. Basically, a farm (or group of farms) offers to the public a number of “shares”, which entitle the purchaser to, well, a share of the output of the farm for the season.

This gives the farmers a steady and predictable source of income (no worries about over or under-planting their demand), and provides the shareholders incentives to eat more meals that actually contain green things.

Once I hear back that we actually got into the CSA that I’m hoping for (a lot of small farms will sell out by March/April, which I found out the hard way last year), I’ll post the specific details. But if you’re interested in joining one, a good place to start (if you’re in the Twin Cities) is the Land Stewardship Project’s page which lists a number of MN and Western WI farms. Another resource that is nationwide (and I wish was better designed) is Local Harvest which is a database that collects CSA Farms, farmer’s markets, and various other ways to avoid getting scurvy.

One thing I haven’t decided yet is what this means for my backyard garden. With just me to feed (the cats aren’t so big on salads), I’m looking forward to taking a year off from hardcore vegetable cultivation and letting someone else do the seed starting and the planting and the watering and the harvesting for me. I’ll probably still grow some things (not having a container of basil going all summer just seems like a waste of dirt) but maybe I’ll stick to just one interesting variety of tomato, or put all of my growing efforts into maintaining a truly epic giant pumpkin patch.

Which reminds me…it’s time to start looking at seed catalogs again…