Well, I never meant for this blog to be preachy, but I guess I’ll talk a little about sustainable food. A few months ago Daniel and I decided to get serious about trying to live sustainably. We started buying Method cleaning products, and using canvas bags when we go shopping, and buying fluorescent lightbulbs. But the two biggest ways we all impact the earth are through food and transportation. We still drive more than we need to; that’s something Daniel and I need to work on. But today I want to tell you about one way we’ve been trying to change the way we eat.
Since July, Daniel and I have belonged to the Full Circle Farm CSA (that’s Community Supported Agriculture for those of you not in the know). A CSA is like what you might call a co-op, or they’re also known as farmshares. Traditionally, you buy a “share” of the season’s produce and then every week you pick up a box full of fresh, local fruit and vegetables. Many CSAs have a 20-week season that runs from spring through fall, with a fixed price for the whole season.
Full Circle Farm’s CSA is a little different. You don’t have to buy into the whole season — you can pay week-by-week, and you have the freedom to skip a week if you will be on vacation. Full Circle Farm is a little farm out in Carnation, WA, and they grow all-organic produce. On a given week, about half of the vegetables in out box actually come from Full Circle Farm, and most of the rest come from other local farms in the Northwest. A few items every week (often exotic fruits like citrus) are not grown locally. However, you have the opportunity every week to make up to 5 substitutions to your box, so Daniel and I usually manage to sub out non-local items.
Here’s a screen shot of our box contents for this coming week (which is incidentally not a very good example of how we usually sub stuff out). Click to see the full-size image.
Having this box every week has really changed the way we look at what we eat. We’re much more likely to try new foods, and we’re really aware of the change of the seasons and which foods are ripe at what times. It will be interesting to see what the variety of available produce is in the winter. Seattle has a pretty mild climate, but I imagine they would have to grow some things in a greenhouse, or buy more produce from farms in warmer climates.
Wll, now that I’ve told you a little about how I buy local, tomorrow I’d like to explain a little about why I do it, and why it’s important to me to eat locally-grown foods.