Okra and Maters and Pears, Oh My!

Local family takes a plunge in the produce pool…literally.

I have just signed us up for the remainder of Bio-Way Farms’ CSA summer season.

What is a CSA, you ask?  Good question.  If you’d asked me this a year ago, I would have said that it was perhaps a government agency that most assuredly was infringing on our rights as citizens.  In fact, a CSA is FAR from that.

Community Supported Agriculture is a rising trend among the health conscience (and yuppies).  But, you don’t have to be trendy to participate….and, as I have learned, you don’t have to be rich!!  A CSA is a program in which you choose a farm that offers one, you pay a seasonal fee (currently $30 per week), and pick up your produce.

As I have mentioned before, we have made a decision to live healthier lifestyles.  Part of that includes reducing the amount of insecticides and pesticides that we consume.  Why eat chemicals with your kale?  By joining a local CSA, we can rest assured that we ingest far fewer chemicals.  We know our farmers.  We trust our food.  Bio-Way Farms is a certified organic farm that uses permaculture design principals.  Say what?  Yeah, I didn’t understand that either.  Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design that develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.  Still sounds like a bunch of mumbojumbo?  It basically means that the farm is ethical.  You can learn more about the 12 steps of permaculture here.

There are advantages and disadvantages to joining a CSA.  Obviously, eating organic, local produce is a big plus.  The opportunity to expand your produce knowledge is also a big advantage.  You usually purchase the same produce week to week, right?  Joining a CSA offers you the chance to ‘eat outside the box’.  Of course, the downside would be if you or members of your family were picky eaters.  Another downside would be the failure of crops.  Since, in a way, you are buying into the farm, you also run the risk of not receiving your share due to bad weather.  Since we live in Greenville, SC our odds of that happening are minimal…..and bountiful will be the produce.  Here is a sample list of the produce offered through Bio-Way’s community supported agriculture program.

So, this Tuesday we will join this CSA for the remainder of their summer season.  Every Tuesday we will head over to Whole Foods on Woodruff Road between 2 and 9.  We will be given a waxed box (speaking of eating ‘outside the box…hehe) full of produce.  We will bring back the box every week and be given a new box full of local, organic produce.  Stay tuned to this blog to learn what items we received, how we utilized those items, and our satisfaction level.  Until then, stay local!

 

 

First Week's Share

 

UPDATE!  8-27-13

Today, I went to Whole Foods to retrieve my first share!  It was quick and easy!  I pulled into the parking lot at 2:00 and by 4:00 I had fresh tomato sauce simmering on the stove.  Plus, Chris was there when I picked up my share.  How often do you get to have a quick chat with the farmer who grows your produce, right?  Pretty cool.  He is and so is this whole thing.  I am thoroughly pleased so far!!!  In today’s share, we received peppers of three varieties, squashes, okra, basil, tomatoes, garlic, and a pawpaw.

Here is a photo of everything ‘out of the box’.

out of the box!

As you can see it is good bit of beautiful, fresh, organic produce.  I did receive a lot of basil so I decided to dry some of it since I would most likely not use it all before it started to wilt.

basil drying

You can learn more about drying herbs, too!

So, our satisfaction level at this point is a whooping 10 sweet pickles!!!!  Keep in touch to hear of our future CSA stories!!!

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