Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eating locally: the CSA farm share

Reduce footprints put out a challenge this week to eat locally. This actually works in nicely to a post I've been working on about our local farm share. For the fourth year in a row my husband and I have had a community sponsored agriculture (CSA) share in the delicious organic produce of Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, MA. This was the first week's distribution which I picked up last Tuesday, believe it or not this is a "small share". It's far more than my husband and I can eat. We freeze a lot for the long winter:

Green Meadows has an interesting history in that the property was owned by General George S. Patton III of WWII fame. His son, Major General George S. Patton IV, retired to the farm in 1980 and turned this former leisure property into a blueberry farm. All the fields are named after brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting with the Major General in Vietnam.

We love our farm share for many reasons:

-it's local (five minutes down the road from our house).
-it's organic
-it supports a local business
-it makes us eat our veggies :)
-every week there's a pick-your-own offering, the past two weeks it was strawberries, check them out below! I ate most of them and only left my husband two, I couldn't help it they were SO good!

-and most importantly (my husband's favorite reason) it makes us feel good. He says he enjoys talking to the "cute farm girls" that grow our food. He did actually just say that. Although it's actually a large crew of very dedicated women and men, but we'll let him enjoy talking to the farm girls....

Green Meadows Farm also has chickens, turkeys, sheep, pigs (which they let you feed!) and a super friendly house cat that's employed to get the mice. Four years ago getting a slot for their CSA was easy. This year there were 300 people on their waiting list and they're already taking names for next spring's waiting list. I take that as an excellent sign that Americans are starting to be more mindful about what they eat.

To find a farm with CSA shares near you go to and enter your zipcode. I'm still stunned at how many farms offer farm shares! In a 15 mile radius of our house there are nine farms that have shares, talk about eating local!


  1. I was on a waiting list last year and thought I was stuck on one again this year, but just found one this year, which still has spots with a gazillion different pick-ups -- (organic, out of New Braintree) -- if anyone is interested in trying it out with me.

    Also, any advice on freezing stuff? I keep meaning to do it, but I'm always worried I'll ruin it.

  2. Just like a man to think of a really GOOD reason to eat healthy.

  3. Abigail: that's awesome! I totally recommend it even if you have more than you can eat. If we can't go through all our greens I bring some to work and freeze the rest. Root veggies I just cut up and freeze, spinach, kale and chard I do a quick blanch and freeze, herbs I dice up real small and freeze in ice cube trays, unfortunately lettuce you have to eat now, yum! Our farm is a good resource for freezing tips too.

    Rae: men will come up with any excuse, you're right ;)

    TC: we promise to keep from munching your leaves.

    thanks for visiting! -kate

  4. We are also on the waiting list at our local csa. It just started here this year and has 100 people on the waiting list. I agree that its a good sign.

    I have been trying to start an open air market in my town on Sunday mornings for fresh locally produced consumables... unfortunately for as excited as some residents are, there has been enough pushback from other organizations to squash the idea. We are like nomads looking for a home right about now! lol I joke, but its sad after so many months of research and work...and when it would be such a benefit to many people...well, you never know!

  5. In Asheville, NC, in addition to CSA farms, we have "tailgate" markets. Every Wednesday and Saturday, parking lots all over the area turn into farmer's markets with produce that was picked earlier in the morning. It's fabulous! They are always crowded! And just like your area, our CSA farms have waiting lists. It is a good sign and will hopefully mean a healthier population ... and planet!

    BTW ... the picture of your CSA share is making my mouth water! :)

    Small Footprints

  6. Helene, that is fabulous that you're on a list for a farm share (well not great that you're waiting, but that you committed to local produce :) good luck getting to the top of the list! and good luck with the open air market, I can't think of a single reason why people would be against that?

    Small: I'll send you some leftovers! we're trying to keep up with the stuff you can't freeze, like lettuce! we're up to our ears!

    thanks for visiting - kate

  7. Hi Kate,
    Good post, I haven't heard of any programs like that in my area but I will be looking. Our Farmers' Market does have great produce. If you don't mind I would like to include a link to this post with the Farmers market challenge. It all ties in together.

    I am doing another Farmers' Market challenge on July 25th. Our Onion Festival is next month and that's when everything gets into full swing. Looks like there will be others next month also. It will be great.


  8. I almost forgot, the Barrow sea ice webcam. There are other reasons to watch the ice besides to cool off. Check this story,

    There is far less ice this year than when I was there. The polar bears others are not doing well.

  9. SQ: of course you can put a link to this post, thanks! I'll mark July 25th on my calendar :)

    Checked out that website, so sad. Every time I hear more news about polar bears I get angry, I don't get why governments can't do more to curb carbon. I guess we can only do our little parts. thanks for visiting! -Kate

  10. I found two farms in my little town that do CSA farm share. I had no idea and I'll be checking them out this week.

    I'm doing my first veggie garden; and, well, it isn't going too well. The farm share sounds like an excellent idea until I can get my own producing. lol I am totally disgusted when listening to the news that this and that food is being recalled.

  11. Lynn, That's excellent! glad that you found a CSA near you and I hope you end up signing up for one either this year or next year! -Kate

  12. Our strawberry farm is a neighbor less than 1/2 mile away. We grow our own cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, melons, corn, green beans, and chives. We also have hens for fresh eggs. We sell the extras on a table by the barn.

    Can't wait until we're off the grid!

  13. Hi Kate, I am AL, I found your blog thru SQ's photo challenge, and like you, I promote eating organic food and support people engaged in farming as well as the exporters here. I hope you visit my blog if you have the time. Strawberries looks scrumptious!


  14. MzzLily, I am so jealous that you have chickens! I want to raise them too, but we have 0.06 acres of land, most of it is a house, a garage/surfboard shaping shack and a small veggie plot and flower garden. Not much room for chickens. sad. perhaps some day when we are off the grid as well :)

    AL, I will check out your blog after work, thanks for following me and I will be sure to follow you as well :) My first follower from the other side of the globe! YAY!

    thanks for visiting -kate


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