CSA time!

It’s time to pick out your CSA for 2011! In case you haven’t been introduced to the concept, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Generally how it works like this: you give your money to the farmer in the spring when the farmer doesn’t yet have a steady income. In return you get a box or bag of produce every week throughout the summer season. Usually the CSA price is a discount from what the same produce would bring at the farmer’s market. So you save money and support the farm too – quite a bargain! Here are the farms offering CSAs who attended the March 21 meeting of the Kitsap County Agricultural Alliance, in alphabetical order: Abundantly Green Marilyn Holt’s 80 acre farm is the largest operating farm in the county. This certified organic CSA offers a substantial discount for a 20 week season. Pick up is at the … Continue reading

Spring cleaning

I’m still catching up on the posting at Kitsap Cuisine News about the West Sound Farms Expo. Meantime I’m making a list of the cuisine-oriented things I need to do around the place. As Sharon Astyk says, I’m working on being a better chatelaine, knowing what my food stores are and what I’m going to do with them. Pantry toss: complete. Pulled a couple of molding squashes, moved the ones that need to be priorized up front. Follow-up: more squash recipes. Freezer toss: need to move the aging freezer goods forward. Also need to admit we’re never going to use the frozen green beans, they just don’t taste good to us – compost them and chalk it up to experience. Inventory: it would be lovely to have an inventory of the stuff I actually have. All the food is moving through the system, and I’m fairly certain we could subsist … Continue reading

Sharon Astyk

I’m in my Sharon Astyk period. She’s a former academic turned Northeast farmer, who in addition to raising vegetables and goats, is a mother rearing a batch of kids, and a farm teacher. She also spent a couple of years pounding out three really good books. I urged all my friends to read her first book, Depletion and Abundance, Life on the New Home Front. Most of the people writing about the effect of the industrial complex on the natural world are men, and they tend to be gloomily apocalyptic. Astyk is calm, sensible, and writing on the side of life. It’s important for us all to understand what is happening; this book will get you the main points as gently as possible. Astyk wrote A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil with Aaron Newton. In this book Astyk calls for one-third of our population to … Continue reading

Winter food management

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Sharon Astyk’s post on food management during the winter. I’m keeping track of the pantry reasonably well, processing squash, onions and potoatoes as they hit the end of their storage life. The freezer holds four kinds of items: Meat Fruits Vegetables Food storage Meat: although I still find the odd cut here and there that I’ve forgotten, I generally know what I have and have something of a plan for using it. Mostly I don’t eat meat unless I know the person who raised the animal – I make an exception for Willamette Valley family farmers who provide organically raised poultry to the region. I’m methodically working through Tom Clark’s pig. Fruits: I defrosted a bag of strawberries this week and I’m using them as garnishes. Mostly I make cobblers out of frozen fruit. Freezer jams come under this category, we’re using … Continue reading