We decided this year that we would sign up for a CSA with Waxwing Farm in Webster, MN. For the uninitiated, “CSA” stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and is a way to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer, with no middle man involved. Farms offer a certain number of “shares” which usually consists of a box of vegetables, delivered weekly or bi-weekly. Many farms also offer dairy, meat, and flowers in their shares as well, if they’re available.
It’s an amazing way to learn about what’s really in season at what point in the year, and to eat incredibly fresh food. One of my favourite things has been getting exposed to new vegetables and therefore new ways of cooking because of an item popping up in our box that I’ve never used before. This happened with kohlrabi and tomatillos this season.
The other great thing about a CSA is that you develop a relationship with the farmer who grows your food and learn a TON about how it’s grown. Anna and Pete, who run Waxwing, kept us in the loop throughout the season with news on what was growing, what was struggling and everything in between.
We had to witness them and their crops suffer devastating floods in June which affected our boxes later in the summer. Understanding what weather patterns were contributing to the contents of our box, really helped me to appreciate the food we were eating.
And finally, the ultimate bonus was getting to visit the farm this weekend for a harvest party and potluck. Meeting and chatting with Anna and Pete in person, walking through their fields, and being invited into their home really made the whole the experience of being part of a CSA share feel special.
There was a warm feeling of community between all the CSA share-owners and that was deepened by us sharing food we’d made for each other to enjoy.
If you’re interested, you can check out Waxwing Farm’s share options here. Needless to say, I highly recommend their CSA!
Have you done a CSA share before? I’d love to hear about your experiences!