By Daina Makinson
This year you can have it your way with a Drumlin Farm CSA* share. For those of you who have yearned to support a local farmer for all the good reasons noted below, but were afraid of produce you might be unfamiliar with – fret no more. This year you will be able to pick and choose with a market style point system, allowing you to pick the seasonally available fruits and veggies your heart desires.
How does that work? Each item will be assigned a point value. You will have total choice as to what you select, MOST of the time. Early crop yields may be restricted at first. It will be just like shopping – well – anywhere! But let’s face it. There’s NOTHING like a visit to the farm every week to pick up your seasonal, freshly picked produce. Here’s why.
1. You Eat Healthier and Your Food Tastes Better
Ok that’s two in one but they are inseparable. First of all it’s organic. I could write a whole article about this subject, but let’s keep it simple. If I spray a pesticide into that spaghetti sauce you’re making what do you think? I’m pretty sure pesticides don’t taste very good either. Oh and organic farming is better for our environment and local wildlife.
Now for the taste. Ever picked a tomato right off a sun kissed plant and bitten into it like an apple? Do I need to say more? Fresher is better. The produce at your local CSA is picked the same day or the day before. I’ll take that any day over a strawberry that’s been bopping along the Interstate 5 for a few days then wasting away in a dark warehouse somewhere waiting for the trip to the grocery store. And who’s to say how long it’s been lounging around there under the bright lights of the Big City?
2. Farmers Take Care of the Land
For so many reasons this is a good idea. By supporting a local farm you help preserve farmland, instead of that developer who has their eye on building an industrial mall that’s going to increase traffic in the community, take a toll on roads, and poison the environment. Where will next generations get their food from if all the land is used for bricks and mortar? Farmers take care of the land and that’s a really good thing to consider for our future.
3. You Are Face to Face with the Farmer Who Grows Your Food
Ever asked a grocery store clerk where the food on their counter came from? How it was grown? When was it picked? Even recommendations on how to cook or eat it? Like which kind of apple is best for making applesauce for example. From personal experience I’ve had many fascinating and educational conversations with Gerry Stephenson about the food he grows and how he grows it, and more than few great tips on how to prepare some things in ways I’d never thought of – but enjoyed completely. And there’s never a dull conversation with Gerry or any of his team if you are interested to find out more. They are enthusiastic and educated on all things about the farm.
4. The Beauty of It
I don’t know about everyone but my life is filled with such hustle and bustle. Technology has made us more accessible with the expectation to answer the bell as soon as it rings. The peace and tranquility of going to pick up my CSA every week is bliss. To slow down for just a few moments while I watch the (Chantecler) chickens enjoy daily life at the farm. I look forward to that moment every week standing by the side of the barn and “chicken watching”. So much more interesting that people I can promise you that. Don’t get me started about the donkeys!
5. Eggs and Chickens and Honey Oh My
There’s more than just fresh produce at Drumlin Farm. There’s the amazing eggs, but get there early as quantities are often limited. If a happy chicken lays a good egg then Drumlin Farm chickens are happy indeed.
And then there are the chickens. Drumlin Farm has been accepted into the Chicken Farmer’s of Ontario Artisanal program and will be raising heritage breed chickens that you will be able to order fresh or frozen. And throughout the season there are preserves, jams and honey available. I’m all over buying something homemade that I don’t have to make myself. And honey is better for you than sugar. Not to get all complicated – you can go ahead and Google that yourself – but all the good nutrients that the bees have gets transferred to the honey.
So for all the CSA wannabes but were afraid to take the plunge, now is the time to sign up for a share. You don’t have to take the kale if you don’t want to. But my advice – live a little and take the kale. Drumlin Farm will have a delicious recipe for you to try and it will be worth every delicious bite.
To find out more about Drumlin Farm CSA click HERE
*Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a form of direct marketing between farmers and member families. Members pay in advance for weekly fresh produce for the 20 week season. Receiving payment in advance helps farmers cover early-season costs such as seeds, equipment, salaries and other field materials. Both parties bear the risks, as well. Drumlin Farm is unique among local, organic (we are certified) farms in that we not only grow amazing organic food, but we also take great pride in providing employment to (young) people, work with the environment, and focus on a farming model that is sustainable, cost-effective, and viable.