Monday, October 13, 2008

Community Supported Agriculture

A friend is a member of an organic farm in Kinderhook, New York called Roxbury Farm. By paying an annual membership fee, she is entitled to 26 produce drops a year, which are delivered to a church on the Upper West Side. She has shared some of the produce with me, and she gave me her allocation for 3 weeks during which she was travelling. The produce was of excellent quality, and it feels good to support local organic growers. Also, you get what they give you, and it's a great challenge to use it all. We all know what to do with wonderful corn and tomatoes, but braising greens, kale, and the like are less familiar, at least to me. A great discovery was Delicata squash, which is really subtle and delicious.

There are other farms in addition to Roxbury, but it is hard to find one that has openings and makes dropoffs in a convenient place. To learn more, search "community supported agriculture new york" or some such phrase on Google or a comparable search engine.

An easier way to support local organic farming is to go to your nearest farmers market. I go to Union Square, which is not my nearest but is much much bigger. The produce is fantastic and varied and it is a thrill to see such magnificent fruits and vegetables. There's also organic chicken, lamb and beef and some amazing cheeses. While prices are generally high, it is really worth it: I have become addicted to the incredibly expensive ($6.00 per 1/4 pound) mesclun I found at one place, which is as good as the best I have found in Paris.

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