Community Supported Agriculture
This Thursday I picked up my first CSA share and I couldn't be more thrilled! Over the last few years, I have been more mindful about where my food is being sourced from and have wanted to participate in a summer CSA share for quite some time. A CSA share brings you locally grown, organic food, often from a small farm. A friend suggested I should join the Prospect Park CSA, which brings local Brooklynites sustainably grown food from Windflower Farm, a small organic farm owned by Ted and Jan Blomgren located in upstate New York.
TED AND JAN’S PHILOSOPHY
“Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a collaboration between farmers and the people who eat the food they grow. As Wendell Berry puts it, ‘Eating is an agricultural act.’ CSA is a means by which people may establish a stronger relationship with the sources of their food.
As farmers, we make a commitment to you to be good stewards of the land we grow your food on and to grow a wide variety of high-quality vegetables in suitable quantities for you and the people with whom you share your table. And you, the folks who eat our food, make a commitment to us and the ecological practices we use by purchasing a share in our harvest, by sharing in some of the risks (and potential bounty) associated with growing crops in the Northeast, and by paying in advance of the season for your produce.
We believe that the principles of sustainable agriculture apply to every kind of farming, from the growing of the fresh vegetables and fruits that make their way to your dinner plates, to the production of the fresh-cut flowers that adorn your tables. As organic growers, we use no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers of any kind. To enrich our soils, we use cover crops, crop rotations, and compost. We are committed to careful land stewardship, ecological pest management, and a healthy environment for the people who work with us. In this way, we hope to leave our farm in good condition for future generations.”
It is so incredibly important to be mindful of where your food comes from and how it is grown. You are what you eat is a philosophy I live by each day. Yes, we can purchase food at our local grocery store but often times these products are not as organic as they say. A lot of the foods found at these types of markets are mass produced and are not grown with the strict 'ecological pest management/healthy environment' such as Windflower Farms. Now, I am not saying to avoid ALL markets and strictly do CSA. That, of course, can be costly and no sustainable. However, I am simply asking everyone to take a second look and be more conscious if you so desire.
About Prospect Park CSA
With Prospect Park CSA, you can choose to do the full 22 weeks, or opt-in for a half share. There are additional options such as participating in a fruit, egg or flower share, among others. As this is my first year, I decided to purchase the half veggie, fruit and egg share. Windflower Farm brings food grown that week so each pickup varies. This week I received arugula, butter lettuce, baby arugula, rainbow swiss chard, bok choy, an amethyst basil plant, scallions, radishes and the most delicious strawberries you've ever tasted. My first night I made a simple salad with the fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes, radishes with an olive oil, garlic and sesame seed dressing. Yesterday, after a 5 mile run and much biking, I cut up the entire head of butter lettuce and created a divine salad with tomatoes, radishes, scallions, spring pea shoots, marigold leaves, topped with olive oil, lemon, Hawaiian salt, pepper and black/white sesame seeds.
One thing I am most excited about is challenging myself to use the ingredients in creative ways. I tend to be a creature of habit, making the same type of salad or breakfast for days, weeks even. I want to push myself out of my culinary comfort zone and find more creative ways to make a salad, snack, smoothie. Having CSA provide an unexpected array will help me do just that. Over the next few months, I will be researching how to use ingredients I might be unfamiliar with and listing my thoughts, recipes etc. here!