Folks, it’s that time of year again; our CSA has started! Once again I will be documenting our weekly veggies, mostly because I was surprised by how much fun it was to watch the boxes shift throughout the season. A little background first: this year we’re with Farmer Dave, and we’re splitting our full-size share with Chris and Boj. So my pictures (where possible) will be of the full share, although I’ll also document how we split it. Week 1 was a little small, I think, but bearing in mind that it is the first box of what has been an extremely bizarre spring, I think it’ll be fine as weeks go by. What’d we get? Excellent question.
A large bouquet of chives (with flowers! hurray!), a good-sized bag of mesclun mix (which I’m assuming also has some arugula in it, since the email said it had “spicy bits”, a large (if somewhat bug-nibbled) bok choi, a medium-sized bunch of very nice-looking chard, a good-sized bundle of oregano, and a bag of potatoes (purple!) from last summer/fall. (They told us they were testing their potato storage system, and the spuds seem to have over-wintered well.)
After we’d split the box, both families got half of everything except for the chard and choi; due to The Boy’s obsession, we kept the bok choi, while Boj and her crew took home the chard. Everybody wins!
For comparison, last year’s week 1 contained a smallish head of lettuce, a large bok choi *, radishes, oregano and garlic scapes. So, food-wise, last year’s week 1 provided slightly less, although without the previous season’s potatoes supplementing it, this year’s would have been about the same. I still have high hopes for scapes in weeks to come (I love scapes!) and have no doubt we’ll have radishes coming out our ears by July.
* Why, why is it that everyone seems to be able to grow this vegetable except me? Behold my attempt at bok choi from this year’s garden:
That’s right, folks. I’ll be featuring a bouquet of bok choi blossoms on my table along with tonight’s dinner (since we’ll be eating most of the chive flowers in a salad). Then I’ll be pulling it up, and trying again, because I am a chump. * sigh *
Anyway, my own gardening shortcomings aside, how do I like this new farm so far? Well, it’s hard not to be more favourably disposed towards the new farm, because…
- They’ve started their boxes a full two weeks before last year’s CSA (although to be fair, I have no idea if last year’s farm is already putting out veggies or not this year too).
- They are extremely communicative via email. We were getting approximately weekly (or every 10 days) update from the farm throughout the cold, rainy spring, and the week prior to our first pick-up, we got a detailed email explaining how it works, a list of exactly what veggies we should expect, along with how to store them to help them keep longer. Considering that my biggest beef with last year’s farm was lack of communication, this is filling me with all sorts of warm fuzzies.
- We got to visit the farm! This farm is a bit special in that it is actually within city boundaries. (People, this farm is about 5km from my house — how’s that for local?) They held an “open house” a couple weekends ago, and gave a tour of their fields, their growing strategy (our CSA is a biodynamic farm), as well as showing us their brand new (well, 5-weeks-old at the time) chicks and introducing us to their full-grown laying troupe (chickens, ducks and geese).
As I’d suspected, it does help a lot to actually see the farm; it goes a long way towards making me feel more involved with the food production — and actually getting to see all those veggies growing in tidy little rows every week at pickup helps too! Better still, I now have an excellent resource to
interrogateturn to with my chicken questions, assuming I’ll ever be allowed to keep my own.