As a part of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, my friend and I are splitting the costs of a share of crops from a local farm. I have to give her all the credit for starting this because she asked me. Of course, we have no idea how it works or what to expect, so she initially emailed the farmer to ask. ~~~ Here is the response email we got:
Pickups in Conway are every Wednesday I drop off the baskets and bags (for different size shares) there before 9AM and you can pick them up anytime after that. When the Conway Farmers Market reopens in May, pickups will be there every Saturday. We also have a pickup location at the Myrtle Beach farmers market and may add additional locations in North Myrtle Beach and/or Pawleys Island in the spring. When you pick up your share each week, just drop off the bag (unless it’s not in reusable condition) or basket from the previous week.
Our produce is all grown right here and is all grown organically. We are not certified under the federal program, but are Certified Naturally Grown, which uses the federal organic standards as a base but adds surprise inspections and closes some of the loopholes that some industrial organic farms use to get around what organic should be. CNG is recognized internationally as a reputable organic certifying agency, and is geared more towards small family farms as opposed to industrial-scale production.
It’s been quite a struggle already this winter with the extreme cold (for here) and we’ve lost almost our entire lettuce crop and much of some other crops, too, but we’re still chugging along. We planted enough quantity and enough variety that we’re doing well, but there just won’t be quite as much variety as we had planned for the next month or so. Still, yesterday’s shares included beets, turnips, carrots, green onions, cabbage, creasy greens, endive, mustard, and collards. This is how you really learn to eat seasonally and locally, and you’ll notice how almost every week the veggie list changes a little.
I think it’s a great way to connect with the local farms, especially since they are working for a living too. Regarding the list of produce, neither of us know how to cook with creasy greens, endive, or mustard, but the rest sounds good. I found a few salad-like recipes on the All Recipes website, which will prove to be very helpful as I figure it out. Since we get fresh weekly, I have to figure out ways to cook it during that time. It will be a learning experience for both us!