Sunday, July 10, 2011

so...what's a csa?

Our friends, Shane and Mary Courtney (along with their 2 kids) are a farming family in the truest sense of the word.  Shane and Mary both grew up on farms, but following college they each took jobs that were in the field of agriculture, but not actually farming.  A few years ago, the Courtneys decided to buy a farm, and transition into farming full-time.  They raise tobacco, but in an attempt to diversify, vegetables were added to what they grow.  Shane and Mary raise over 90 varieties of produce. 

Makes my little garden with tomatoes and squash look kind of small.

Last year the Courtneys began a Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA.  In a CSA, members partner together with a farmer, in this case Shane and Mary, by buying a "share" of the produce raised.
A CSA has many benefits. 
 Members are able to enjoy fresh, local produce that was picked usually that morning instead of days ago and then shipped across the country.
It's like having your own garden but without all the work!
The benefit I appreciate the most is knowing exactly where your food comes from.  We have a personal relationship with the farmer that grew our veggies.  I like that, and I like being able to support another local farmer.

We purchased a share this year and each week we pick up our bag of produce.  It's so exciting to see what's waiting in that heavy green bag!

Rainbow swiss chard!   How beautiful is that?  I used it to make a really yummy greens and eggs recipe from the Courtney's website.

A sunburst patty pan squash.  Pretty, huh?

Here's my favorite...

Beets, ya'll.
I love me some beets.

We're not talking the canned pickled beets you get on the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday.

I'm talking, I watched Mary Courtney pull these beets fresh out of the ground this morning, beets.

Did you know if you clean fresh beets and trim the tops and bottoms off, wrap them in a foil packet with some olive oil and roast them at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or so, something magical happens?
When they cool, you can peel them, slice them and serve them with some kosher salt and pepper if you like.
Oh. My.
Who knew something as homely looking as a beet could taste so good!

I encourage you to investigate CSAs in your area.  If you live around the Shelbyville/Louisville, KY area, check out our friends the Courtneys.
If you live elsewhere, check out to find a CSA in your area.

Have a great week ya'll!

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