Fresh From the Local Farm to Your Table

Susan says…

veg1

Would you love to enjoy fresh produce but don’t have the land, skill or energy to grow it yourself?  Are you concerned about the chemicals used by large-scale growers?  Did you know that most produce we consume is harvested weeks in advance of our purchasing it, giving the flavors time to dissipate?

If so, take a look at Community Supported Agriculture.

Called CSA by those in the know, it is a community of individuals who purchase “shares” in a farm operation, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.  Similar production systems are in use worldwide but may be called by different names.  It’s like a magazine subscription, but instead of photos and articles about food, you are subscribing to fresh, healthy, flavorful veggies you can eat!

Specific CSAs vary by length of share season, quantity and selection of food per share, and price. Per Wikipedia, a rough average basic share in a North American CSA may be $350-500 for a season, for 18-20 weeks (June to October), providing enough for at least two people.

Never heard of this before?  I hadn’t either.  The trend began growing in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Today, there are over 2000 CSAs in the United States.  www.localharvest.com is a good resource for more information about CSAs and how you can hook up with one near you.

Fish Hawk Acres in Rock Cave, WV, located near my hometown of Buckhannon, are accepting share subscriptions through the end of February.  Not only do you receive produce items like mesculan greens, herbs and asparagus but you also receive a WV-made product like honey or fresh bread in your box, along with recipes from a card-carrying, puffy hat-wearing chef.  And this CSA ships right to your door.  (email chefhawkins@gmail.com for more information on Fish Hawk Acres)

All this talk about veggies is making me really hungry for a stir fry!

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4 responses to “Fresh From the Local Farm to Your Table

  1. http://www.wvfarm2u.org/

    This website is intended as a resource for locating farms, markets and restaurants selling locally grown or raised food.

    It’s quite a bit broader in scope, but does include the CSA farm in addition to privately owned entities.

    It is relatively new and I’m not sure if the small number of participants is reflective of a small number of farms and sellers of farm products, lack of publicity, or some other reason.

  2. For the typical farmer CSA doesn’t work. If you want to support local agriculture, find local products and buy them.
    wvfarm2u was a good idea but they didn’t do anything beyond create a web site with their grant money.
    There was also a group called “Center for Economic Options” that had a big grant and never did anything for local small farmers except make some phone calls.
    I can tell you of small family farmers who can’t get a dime worth of assistance from the USDA or the WVDA because they don’t fit the rigid production mold they have created.
    When all is said and done around the issue of local farmers, much is said and little is done.

    However, if you are interested in the finest quality locally raised organically and pasture fed, all natural, truly free range, ethically produced poultry, drop me an e-mail.

    • Dear SagaciousHillbilly,

      I have to comment on what WVfarm2u.org is up to aside from creating a website with grant money. The site has over 200 farmers/artisans as well as restaurants and consumers. We spend our time working face to face with restaurants and farmers trying to connect the two. Case in point, last week at the WV Small Farm Conference we were there at WVfarm2u booth working one on one with farmers, helping them register on the site or make the most of their existing listing for better search engine function as well helping them think through marketing ideas such as blogs, social networking etc… As well as announcing the need to purchase local foods for two events: Cast Iron Cook-Off and the West Virginia Sustainable Fair.

      Did you know that WVfarm2u.org not only allows farmers to register and market themselves for free, the website also allows growers and artisans to set up their own online shops to sell their wares via a PayPal account. WVfarm2u.org takes no commission for this service.

      The only way for any good idea website to work, is for people to use it and word of mouth promote it. Otherwise they simply become just another good idea. Are you listed on the site? We’re always looking for locally raised ethically produced pasture fed poultry.

      If any of you know of WV small farmers, backyard producers or wv artisans please feel free to let them know we’re here. Give them my email address I will certainly help them as best as I can.

      Cheers!

  3. Phil I. Stein

    Good luck, Annie. Don’t let the Hillbilly get you down. He likes to complain because it seems to make him feel better. He’s taken with many grains of salt by all.

    I’m not sure why he seems to think people should not avail themselves of something which might be beneficial because other things they want are not provided to them. That doesn’t make much sense to me.

    I think the website is an excellent idea and I hope more people become aware of it which is why I posted the link here. A resource which can connect buyers and sellers who might otherwise never know about each other and make it easier for them to do business is a worthy undertaking.

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