Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beautiful Beans

One of the perks of being part of a CSA is the suprise veggies you get. CSA means Community Supported Agriculture - we pay to get fresh, organic, local, seasonal veggies and fruits (and bonuses like herbs and chilies) from a local farm. They get a subscriber base that prepays for their food, so that they have overhead money to keep the farm running. Our CSA is with Full Belly Farms in Capay Valley - north of us in Yolo County.

These are cranberry beans, and they are beautiful! I haven't cooked them yet because I just like looking at them. Who knew beans came in pink and white?
We have tried tons of other new veggies - bok choy, kale, winter greens, squashes, melons, etc. but these take the cake for beautiful.

If you haven't considered joining a CSA yet, I encourage you to think about it. All the farms deliver to 3 of 4 drop off zones, and I know they go to Sacramento and the Bay Area too. The veggies cost around $17 a box, and one box is enough for 2 weeks for us (we get a box every other week). I can't even stomach Safeway veggies anymore - compared to what we get here and at the farmer's market, they have no flavor and the textures are horrible!

Farmer's markets and CSA's are great because you, the consumer (or consumpter?), pay the same or even less. You get better, fresher, more healthy food. The farmer gets all the money for the fruit, instead of around 1/10 or less that he gets selling to a store. Also, most of our fruits and veggies come from far far away now. This means they are picked green, and you paying (financially and environmentally) to ship them from around the globe. Even worse, the food starts loosing its vitamins the day it's picked. So if your fruit was picked two weeks ago in Chile, its not worth much nutrionally by the time it gets to you.

CSAs, and farmer's markets, are a great way to support family farms, local business, green food production, and your family's health! Next time I pick up a box, I'll take a photo so you can see what you get - delish!
Oh - and they send recipes too, so you can try the new foods you are getting.
(written in 2008 sometime and never published)
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