Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Wishing for the CSA to Start

Last night, while chopping up some carrots, I turned to Jim and loudly exclaimed, "I am so sick of carrots, collards, onions and winter squash. All I really want is the CSA to start!"

I have this outburst inwardly almost every year. I think of it as my taste buds crying out for the bounty of early summer harvests. I know you can get variety all winter long but we really do try to eat in season as much as possible. Being aware of the costs, both ecological and monetary, of eating strawberries in January makes it hard for me to enjoy them.

I'm fascinated by comunities that have winter farmers markets. I realize they would largely carry the very vegetables that I'm whining about but I love the fact that they give people another opportunity to eat locally during the time of year when it is most challenging.

We did have a one time winter farmers market locally way back in February and it was a thrill. Several farms in the Hudson Valley got together and froze their excess harvest. The market worked much like a CSA where everyone bought a share. The share included frozen portions of squash puree, strawberry coulis, red and green peppers. It was heavenly and all locally grown. I hope we will see more of this in the future.

We're planning another weekend visit to Ithaca later this spring. I'm curious to see what their farmers market looks like this time of year. Click here and here for a peek at our last trip. This time we'll be leaving the pets at home with my sister which should open up some more options for us. I'm curious to see how Ithaca holds up under a second look. We were certainly tickled with our first encounter!

Check out the Brunch Menu at the ABC Cafe. Leenie discovered this gem and its on our must visit list. Tofu scramble with a side of grilled seitan anyone?


Anonymous said...

I used to live in Ithaca, and the ABC cafe is very good! I hope that you enjoy it!

Reading about farmers markets ALWAYS makes me miss Ithaca! The farmers market there is the best. Enjoy your trip!


Katie said...

Now I really can't wait to go!

Rachael said...

Here in Syracuse, we have a year-round market...during the winter, its lots of onions, garlic, cabbage and apples, but there are several farmers that sell non-local produce during the winter to supplement their income. I used to have an issue with that, but after talking with a few of the farmers, I found out that they are mstly selling "extras"...stuff that is still perfectly eatable but is a bit bruised or slightly wilted and sothe grocery stores won't sell it. The farmers get deals with the local wholesalers and are able to make a profit in the winter even though the consumers are getting the produce for a lot less than at the grocery stores. I feel better knowing that I am buying produce that would otherwise be thrown out and I'm still able to support the farmers in their hardest season. And then we still get all the good local stuff come spring!

Katie said...

I agree, knowing you are buying something that would otherwise go to waste and supporting your local farmers at the same time makes good sense. Ultimately, it allows the farmer to continue to farm and provide local produce. Thanks for the input.