For several weeks, the girls and I have been going to a local farm and working in the garden. (Did anyone else notice how hot it was in the sun today?) After a couple hours of work, we get to pick some of what is ready for harvest to take home and eat. Carriage House Farm is just 2 miles from our house and is a work only CSA, meaning we plant, weed, clear beds, etc. and get some delicious food, not to mention the great experience. My girls get to see the hard work that goes into their food. They also get to participate in the process from planting to harvest. I hope to learn as much as I can too. You never know when this knowledge will come in handy. Kate, the garden manager, always provides some knowledge for us to take home with our food.
Gravel Knolls Farm is a pay only CSA. We pay up front in spring and get a weekly share of the harvest throughout the summer. The benefit: great local produce directly from a farmer you have met. There is risk though. If the harvest is lean, so is what we pick up each week. This year, with all the rain, is a little bit of an example. Planting was delayed at both of these farms, as well as across most of the Midwest, I suspect. But they are experienced farmers that know how to make work what God gives. Today we had our first pick up and already enjoyed some of the deliciousness (from both farms) at dinner. They have a great dog named Milton, 2 Clydesdale horses and lots of sheep. We loved seeing their newest member, a lamb whose mom died giving birth to his brother. I understand we might get to sign up to work at this farm sometime. Might be nice to see the workings of another farm too.
Neither of these farms is certified organic, but they both pride themselves on using organic, sustainable practices. If you want to find a CSA near you, check out Local Harvest.