music: “love vigilantes” by Iron & Wine
Winter presents a bit of a challenge to eating local when you reside in Northern New Jersey. It is currently snowing here and in general the weather is FREEZING! Basically, it’s the type of weather where if you go outside to go running, your eyes tear, and then they immediately freeze on your face. It may be a bit more challenging in the winter months to eat locally here because winter’s farmers markets are extremely sparse, but thanks to Blooming Hill Farm, a local, organic farm that runs their own CSA I have been able to continue eating local produce!
It wasn’t until this summer when I started doing 99% of my food shopping at farmer’s markets that I learned about CSAs. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. They can be set up weekly, monthly, or seasonally. Basically, you support the farmer by paying a set price and they reward your support with a bounty of local produce.
I was so excited the first time the box of produce was dropped off. It was a few weeks before Christmas, but it was just as exciting! Throwing open the top of the crate was just like tearing off wrapping paper, I couldn’t wait to see what I got. What I found inside was so exciting. I honestly could not believe the amount of produce I got for the extremely reasonable price I paid.
Let’s not forget this is like a holy grail of food here. LOCAL, SEASONAL, and ORGANIC. And CHEAP!
Being part of a CSA is rewarding for so many reasons. You get to support a local farmer, get a bounty of fresh and healthy food, eat with the seasons, and be exposed to foods you might not have otherwise picked out. It is a really fun and creative process to come up with meals when trying to utilize a box full of produce you didn’t pick out.
The best part of this CSA is that you don’t have to commit to a weekly pick-up/delivery. This is a really nice feature because, if you don’t get the chance to use everything up, you don’t necessarily have to overload yourself with another box full of produce.
Contents of my crate:
Red and White Onions
Kale (and tons of it!)
Corn Meal (I think its cornmeal at least…)