Sunday, November 23, 2008

CSA - All the Way!

Well, life on the farm it tastes pretty good! I know that isn't how the song goes, but we changed it up a bit today as members picked up their first share of Eden's farm's harvest. Due to many setbacks, it has been long delayed and somewhat truncated, but nevertheless, we harvested fresh greens including Swiss chard, collards, kale and beet greens, fresh oregano and the last of the basil this season.

Supporters of the CSA were also treated to a dozen eggs from JuHa ranch, a frequent participant at the Eden's Market Day event, as well as a baked item from Mama Jeani, the Bistro Mama, who also bakes for our market friends, through pre-orders. Man you should have seen the Thanksgiving pre-order goodies in my freezer for her customers! Mmm, mmm! Too bad everyone showed up to claim theirs - Jenice and I didn't get to split a pie! And from the east Dallas community gardens I was able to secure some tasty freshly harvested onions. Today's harvest was modest at best, but it was a good start to a great thing. And with over 2000 plant plugs on the way from a certified organic growing operation in CA this December, the future winter season is looking really good!

Probably the best part about today was the unified vision that we are building something awesome here in Balch Springs for the future. Thank you for the hugs and kind words of encouragement! I was a bit nervous what you all would say but it seems everyone is on board with the bigger picture about what we are doing.

With all of the talk of down economies, those participating in this CSA are doing something to help the local economy, which also helps each of us individually in several ways. Not only are CSA members helping support a local farmer that one day will enable the expansion of the farms’ potential for bigger and better harvests, but they are helping themselves by eating healthier. And, in the long run this is a win-win solution not only for the locavores and the farmer, but as a whole, the community in which the farm exists. Because as the farm grows, the farmer inevitably needs help - this means employment opportunities for local individuals. Simple economics tells you that is a good thing. And the more food produced, the more people who have access to local, organic food. Additionally, local food means fresher and less of a "carbon footprint" getting it as it isn't flown in from around the world.

One of my goals here at Eden’s Gardens is to produce enough food to more than satisfy the CSA members and have plenty leftover to sell at Market Day. In an effort to make sure no one is denied healthy food, I’ll apply for certification to accept food stamps, and we’ll set up a sliding scale for CSA members’ fees, including adding more working share opportunities that teach members the skills they need to grow their own some day. In this way I hope to make healthy, organic food attainable by anyone who truly desires it. Through free classes, skits and other activities, teaching kids the importance of vegetables in their diet, I hope to help create a generation of educated young people who appreciate food and its origins. So many of us have gotten away from that with modern food conveniences that we just expect to pop something open and eat it. So much is compromised that way.

If you are just visiting our CSA blog and want more information about CSA? Just Google Community Supported Agriculture or CSA and you'll find a bunch of great info. Or, check out the book by the late Elizabeth Henderson and Robyn Van En, Sharing the Harvest. Also for a great example of the important role a local urban farm can be on a community, check out Fairview Gardens website. Lamplighter school just hosted an appearance by Michael Ableman a few weeks ago and it was inspiring, to say the least.

Between the TOFGA workshop a few weekends ago, Henderson’s and Ableman's books I’m immersed in and the Lamplighter presentation and Michael's documentary, you could say I am a bit overwhelmed with inspiration and a sense of awe for what appears to be my calling. It is much more than a job, it is a way of life that I hope will inspire many people to eat healthier, get involved together as a community and take better care of the future in tangible ways. To Eden's CSA members - we're on the right track! Happy eating and a huge THANK YOU!

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

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