Sunday, January 10, 2010

Golden Earthworm CSA - 26 weeks of eating green

What, you may ask, is a CSA? And why does this fall under the category of Port Washington food?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which basically means that you are buying a "share" of a local farm and thus you will share in the profits (ie: vegetables) and losses (ie: less vegetables) of that farm. The Golden Earthworm certified organic farm is located in Jamesport, NY (WAY out in Long Island for those of you unfamiliar with the area). Luckily for me, and many other Port residents, the farm has a drop off point in Port Washington, right off of Main Street at the Grassroots Environmental center.

Once a week, for 26 weeks starting in the Spring and ending around Thanksgiving, I go with my shopping bags to the pick-up spot where cardboard crates are piled high waiting to be picked up. In each crate is an assortment of vegetables (and occasionally berries or melons) that are in season and were harvested that morning. You just cannot get fresher produce unless you're picking it yourself. Plus, each week you get an informative e-newsletter from Maggie, wife of one of the two farmers. The newsletter includes recipes and storage information about the vegetables. Maggie, farmer James and farmer Matt are young, industrious, and dedicated, and do a wonderful job with the farm and in communicating to patrons.

I've been a member of the CSA for the past two years (and my membership is already in for 2010). During those two years, I've eaten better and more diverse vegetables than I had ever imagined. There have even been vegetables that I got to try for the very first time via the CSA (rhubarb, kohlrabi, purslane, watermelon radish, Japanese salad turnips).

Is this for everyone? No. It's expensive ($550 for the 26 week season). It's unpredictable -- weather and growing conditions can affect your "haul." If you don't like cooking, it's not for you. If you don't like vegetables, it's DEFINITELY not for you. If you aren't creative enough to figure out what to do with three turnips, a head of red leaf lettuce, five sweet potatoes and a cabbage -- this isn't for you. BUT - if you enjoy cooking, are a vegetarian or eat a lot of vegetables, and are excited by the idea of trying new things.... this may very well be for you. If you want to support your community agricultural projects, shop locally, reduce your carbon footprint, and eat organic fresh produce, then this is definitely for you.

I love it. In fact, I love it SO much that I didn't write about it until I was sure our membership had been sent in for this year. Spots are limited, so if you want to sign up do so now. Information is available here -

Note - for those of you who want to pick and choose what you get, or don't want to make a 26-week commitment, Golden Earthworm produce is available at the Organic Farmers Market that operates out of the town dock on Saturday mornings during the summer. More on that as it gets closer to the season.

1 comment:

  1. I can attest that the kolrabi, watermelon radish and turnips were particularly delicious !