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Homesteader Joins CSA
There’s a headline for you! That’s exactly what we are doing though. Joining a CSA to make things a bit easier this growing season.
In my last post, I mentioned that we are considering a CSA for this year. We’ve had a few struggles getting our gardens established at our current property, and I didn’t want to stress about harvests this year, so I am outsourcing.
After quite a bit of research, Steve and I have decided to purchase a weekly large share from Johnson’s Corner Farm in Medford, NJ.
Last year, my mom had a mini-share from Johnson’s Corner Farm. We got to see the quality of the fruits & vegetables and the variety of items she received each week. Most weeks, she was familiar with all of the items (remember we grew up with huge gardens). On the occasion there was a variety she wasn’t familiar with all she had to do was ask farmer Gil and the others at the farm who were more than happy to give ideas of preparation and recipes.
This will be our first time participating in a boxed share CSA. The CSA is 16-weeks from about Memorial Day through Labor Day, with 1 additional pick-up in November. The price breaks down to about $34/week. I emailed Farmer Gil asking for an example of what is in a large share box this past season:
Below is an example of what came in a large share box in mid July. Like you said it does vary week to week, but we always try to get 5 to 6 different items in a box.
Corn – 12 ears
Blueberries – 2 pints
Tomatoes – 6
Cantaloupe – 2
Waxed Beans – 2 pounds
Yellow squash – 6
That variety, and all coming in as early as July sounded heavenly! I can almost taste the sunkissed tomatoes! I should probably look up some recipes now for yellow squash since it’s not something we have grown in the past.
Why travel to NJ for a CSA, when you live in PA?
Johnson’s Corner Farm isn’t right around the corner, but you know what, that’s ok. We believe that being a locavore means sourcing your food within 100 miles of your home whenever you can. This farm may be about 24 miles from me, but it’s less than 7 miles from my mom. That means weekly farm trips are something we can do together.
I thrive on routines, so having a weekly routine of going to the farm, community farmers’ market, and the grocery store and being home again before noon has a calming effect on me. It also gives me the mental space to know how to plan the rest of my week and my time so that we have meals on the table and a mama that is able to unwind this summer.
Will you still have a garden?
Absolutely! We have our backyard orchard which is a work in progress. Plus strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, and shrub cherries which are all perennials. I also have over 100 hardneck garlic taking over one of the beds in the backyard, and onions taking over a small portion of the other.
We have 6 patio planters that will grow a variety of salad greens and herbs again this year.
We also have 2 additional 4×8 garden beds. One bed will be set up with just tomatoes and a barrier to try and keep the damn groundhog out. The other bed will be set up for square foot gardening with at least half of that bed being designed by my son Michael to close out his plant science class from this year.
We are also redesigning the front yard garden bed which we had planned to do last year, but the weather and my mental health prevented it. Once that bed is redesigned and rebuilt, I’m thinking it will be my cottage garden with a variety of flowers and herbs, and other culinary treats tucked in among the foliage.
So you’re still homesteading?
Yes, we are!
Homesteading doesn’t have to mean that we do it all independently. In fact, if you are a homesteader, you will burn yourself out if you think you have to do it all during every season of your life.
As always, when we can’t do it ourselves we will continue to support our local agricultural economy and small businesses.
We look forward to sharing photos and stories of our weekly boxed share, items we get at the farmers’ market, and our own gardens and harvest with you in the coming months.