Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Weather,a CSA and the (almost)100 mile diet

Spring looks like it has finally sprung, and while the weather might not be the greatest, at times, i would infinitly prefer rain to snow! We just need a few more warm days for some trees and grasses to green ever so slightly and for there to be a shockingly Lime colored halo to the world.
We joined a CSA- Harmony Valley Farm . Is is more than 100 miles away but less than 200. It is 174 miles away from the pick up site we will be using in Minneapolis. I am very excited and have chattered to all and sundry for days about nothing except the CSA and the vegetables they are growing and what i am going to cook and more and more.
Poor dears who have to listen to me!
We signed up for the full (30 Week) share which starts in May and goes until December. In addition, we signed up for the summer and winter fruit shares which while not locally grown are organic and sold through a farmers organization.
It is expensive, but when you look at what we pay each month for groceries anyhow, and then compare it to what we should be getting, the weather gods being favorable of course, then we should actually be spending less on produce.
The best part is that they are an established farm and should not disappear a month into it like the CSA we joined last year did.
We really like the CSA concept which not only emphasises local foods, but creates a connection between the consumer and the farmer. It is only in the past 50 years or so that people have been so completely cut off from what they eat, and I think it is important to remember that we only eat thanks to some one else's hard work.
It will be challanging to construct menus around seasonal food, as we are pretty much used to creating a menu and then obtaining the ingredients, rather than the reverse. I am looking forward to the challange, which is not completlely unfamiliar to me as i ate about 75 percent locally last March, April, May and June. I intend to try and up that percentage starting in May. Perhaps I can get it up to 100 percent as MN produces flour and sugar and beans in addition to vegetables and meat etc. The only non-local things i am hoping to consume would be the fruit in the fruit shares (Fruit is such a treat!), Coffee, Olive oil, spices and alchohol. It should not be too hard I hope

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