When we think about food, we often forget that the grocery store isn’t where it comes from. Sure, that’s where the exchange of money for food goes on, but #newsflash your pasture-raised, cage-free chicken eggs weren’t laid out back in the Whole Foods parking lot.
With this accessibility + over-abundance, we forget that just like the weather, foods have seasons, too. Getting strawberries or melons in the middle of December is not normal for the natural food rhythms that relate to the climate. Unless of course, you live in some place magical like Hawaii. #summerallyearlong
Do you know the story of your food? Do you even check to see where it is being shipped in from? Is it from your state? From the US? From Mexico? Do you take the time to consider and KNOW where your food comes from? How long it might take to get to you from the farm, to your local supermarket shelf?
As a modern society, it’s cool that we have been able to bring more food abundance to areas where the soil isn’t naturally fertile and the water doesn’t run free. #westtexas
But there are little farms out in this desert that bring it big out here!
Last summer I had the opportunity to work on a farm in exchange for our CSA (community supported agriculture) membership. We’ve been paying members for the last three years, but I wanted to get my hands dirty and learn what’s going on at a grassroots level. #punintended
On the longest days, we were starting at 8am and ending around 3/3:30pm. It was HOT and we got DIRTY. And LOOPY. Something about staying out in that summer heat makes you extra goofy, and crack all the inappropriate jokes or talk in British accents.
But man was it fun. I started working out there when anxiety and I were at odds with each other, and so the hubby and I thought it would be a good idea to step away from the computer screen, get out of my head, and get out in the sunshine, work with my hands in the dirt, and just be in nature.
The day your produce is picked off the vine, is the same day you receive it. BOOM. How’s that for freshness? I cannot tell you how many pounds of produce we harvested each week, but we filled multiple 5-gallon buckets and the back of the mule with melons more times than I can count!
In case you didn’t know, I have big dreams of having my own little garden (we are starting with salsa ingredients, first!) and then chickens, and then maybe even a goat. #homesteaddreams
Anyway, the experience of working on the farm COMPLETELY changed my outlook on food sourcing. I still shop at the grocery store, but I believe in supporting the “little guys” as much as we can. Farmers put in A LOT of work you guys. EVERY DAY. Like, manual labor to the max. And unfortunately, the Big Agriculture Biz has made it even harder for small scale farmers to make a living without ridiculous hoops to jump through.
A local farmer’s pride, love, and tender care towards the crops + livestock is so evident as they offer meticulously cared for food to the local community. I fully believe keeping them in business is so important to support the health of our communities both nutritionally and economically. #keepitlocal
I write this post because Porter’s Community Farm is in the last few weeks of its sign-ups for the next year. Sadly, I won’t be able to help out on the farm this upcoming season, as we are moving to Austin at the end of the month, but don’t let that stop YOU from signing up!
So, what does it involve? Starting end of May 2017 – April 2018, the CSA members receive weekly produce boxes of everything through the seasons at the farm. Don’t worry, you don’t have to work for your food unless you really want to. 😉
What kind of goodies will you get? In the thick of the summer, you can expect A LOT of okra! Tomatoes, zucchini + squash varieties, bell peppers, black-eyed peas, poblano peppers, green chiles, eggplant, okra, cucumber, THE BEST CANTALOUPE + MELONS, winter squash, winter greens, asparagus, carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, kale, chard, broccolini….and I am sure I have missed some!
Feel free to ask me any questions about my experience working on the farm or as a CSA member!
If you are local and want to learn more about Porter’s Community Farm, contact Stephen!
And please know that I’m NOT bashing mega grocery stores by ANY means. #istillshoptheretoo I just want you to think a little more mindfully next time you step in the grocery store. And if you can choose to support your local farmer or farmer’s market, I highly encourage you to do it!