In a previous post, I shared with everyone that we have signed up for a CSA (Community Supported/Shared Agriculture). Essentially, we have partial “ownership” of a farm’s fresh fruits and vegetables and then we pick them up every week. This one has a bakery and cafe onsite also.
We are in the country and on this beautiful day, I attended an orientation of the farm with the other shareholders. The farm’s pick-up area is on a single-lane, albeit paved, country road that runs along a beautiful creek.
There are several Pennsylvania stone houses on this road and one right across from the farm.
Everyone seemed happy to be there and some of the farm hands were playing basketball by the farm shed.
Our tour guide and the farm’s co-owner, Mary, enthusiastically described how their CSA operations have changed from last year, how a “partial share” does not mean “half share” and what their plans for the future are. She showed us the chalk boards behind her, which were still marked up from last November’s pick-ups. We stood, listening intently, in the sun which was getting much warmer. One blind elderly woman with a cane had brought her own seating pad but nothing to sit down onto. Mary whipped out a dusty fold-out sports chair. A baby in a sling attached to her mother started to cry loudly and with that our tour moved out to the greenhouses and growing fields.
We were led to the greenhouses first from where of the plants came from.
All of the seedlings were stuck with a tag in the tray and Sharpie marked with names like Genovese, Mammoth and Calypso. A lot of us squeezed into the front of one of the greenhouses while Mary described the growing process from seed in the greenhouse to young plant in the ground. Seedlings with just two leaves (dicots) were about 3 – 5 days old.
The other half of this greenhouse was filled with rows of hothouse cucumbers, squash, etc.
We exited the greenhouses and were taken to the strawberry patches. When available, this would be our pathway to pick our own fruits and flowers and the first fruit of the season is strawberries.
We were invited to pick just one. I have grown so accustomed to cold strawberries that these tasted like an entirely different fruit. Even partially ripe strawberries taste better than supermarket fruit. I stood there thinking about this empty-handed and noticed that I was the only adult to jump first among the strawberry plants.
So I stepped out of the patch just before taking this picture.
Several patches of kale plants, such as Red Russian, were covered up completely, protected from the elements (the heat and insects). I love kale and this darling of the vegan world has my heart entirely.
An hour had passed already and we were invited to grab a free parcel of bread from the bakery.
I saw this child touching each loaf (why? and where was his parent?) before the start of the tour and decided against it.
I plan on keeping everyone posted on what we get. There is not an actual schedule of vegetables but a general plan of what they are growing. One of the owners hinted that okra is not real popular. Lucky me!