Own a Farm (without all the work)

I can’t remember how I heard about Community Supported Agriculture, but I’m glad I did. My husband and I selected Harvest Moons in Wisconsin who has a pick up weekly on Fridays at the LUSH Wine & Spirits store near us on Roscoe. We have had fun for the past few weeks picking up our box and utilizing the fresh produce inside. Last week it was spinach, lettuce, rhubarb, asparagus, cilantro, radishes, chard, and garlic scapes. This week brought us asparagus, strawberries, lettuce, beet greens, spinach, oviation mix, and swiss chard. I’d never even heard of garlic scape before and had never cooked with rhubarb! We chose to do the half share because they said the full share is more for 4 people in a household. I have to agree — the half share is forcing us to incorporate a good amount of veggies into every meal! Please read below for more information on why I think CSAs are worth it and how they typically work.

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer:

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

CSAs aren’t confined to produce. Some farmers include the option for shareholders to buy shares of eggs, homemade bread, meat, cheese, fruit, flowers or other farm products along with their veggies.

I think it’s better than Whole Foods and more convenient than going to a Farmer’s Market. For more information, here is the Harvest Moons website: http://www.harvestmoonorganics.com/CSA_and_Farmers_Market.html

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A Real Food Revolution

 

I’ve always liked Jamie Oliver a.k.a. “The Naked Chef”. If you’ve had the chance to see him on TV, his passion is apparent in his animated cooking with fresh ingredients.

Recently, Jamie has been focusing on getting better nutrition into schools. I grew up bringing my lunch to school and never really succumbed to the lunches served, but looking back they consisted of a changing menu of various unhealthy foods and daily staples of Connie’s pizza, french fries, and soda.

Jamie showed young, grade school kids being served pizza for breakfast and the same for lunch the following day. Chicken nuggets with ingredient lists a paragraph long with terms no one has ever heard of were common as well. The kids also consistently chose strawberry and chocolate flavored milk over white milk. These colored milks have more sugar in them than pop. Real food nowhere to be found. What’s worse is all of this is following guidelines approved by the schools!

How many times have you heard people saying “McDonald’s made my child fat”. My response to that is “stop taking him or her to McDonald’s”. Kids learn from their parents and if parents aren’t teaching their kids what real food is, how will they know? Instead, Lunchables, potato chips, jello and juice boxes compose their brown bag lunches — providing the children with nothing but sodium and sugar to get them through the day.

Parents aren’t feeding their children fresh ingredients at home either. Jamie went to a classroom and showed the kids fresh produce such as tomatoes and potatoes. The kids had no idea what they were! Convenience has become commonplace and the kids are suffering. The microwave and processed foods are taking priority.

So please help Jamie out by signing his petition. This guy is onto something.

 

Discussion: Should a chef be allowed to copyright his/her recipes?

I came across this article years ago in my Food & Wine Magazine and thought it was extremely thought-provoking

I want to get a discussion rolling:

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/new-era-of-the-recipe-burglar

Thoughts? Reactions?

And so it begins…

My friends have long told me that I belong in food. That my whole life revolves around it, so do something about it. Well this is me doing something about it. I started this blog to explore, to share, to learn. I hope others will find my posts interesting and will enjoy my pictures, my reviews, my thoughts and ideas. Let’s start a conversation!