Ok, lots of people have been curious about the farm. I started going up to Kersey once a week (on Tuesdays) to work for a few hours in exchange for a discounted membership to Monroe Organic Farms’ CSA.
The first few weeks we did nothing but hoe weeds. And hoe more weeds. And hoe a few more weeds. And there were no vegetables yet, because of the weird spring weather. But that time passed quickly, and now we have veggies coming out of our ears!!!
So far we have enjoyed aspearagus, four different kinds of onions, three varieties of potatoes, four kinds of lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, strawberries, the sweetest white turnips I’ve ever tasted, red turnips, candy striped beets, cucumbers, fennel, kohlrabi, carrots, purple (yes, you read that right) bell peppers, sugar snap peas, snow peas, green beans, yellow straight-neck squash, Q-ball squash, and of course, zucchini (lots of zucchini). Last week, Dave, the guy I carpool with shared some apricots from his fruit share with us. Oh man. Amazing!
This week, we’re going to dive into musk melon, watermelon, eggplant, green bell peppers and sweet corn!
Everything we have gotten has been incredible! Full of more flavor than anything that you can get from the store, organic or not. The red potatoes are to die for, and even the onions are good. I can’t wait until the tomatoes come on!
The thumbnail is a picture of a salad I made Friday night. It included Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, turnips, beets, purple bell pepper and walla walla sweet onions. I made an orange-balsamic vinaigrette with garlic and fennel for the dressing. Wow! I also topped it with some sliced almonds, but we ate it before I could get them in the picture. Everything was from the farm. (Well, not the balsamic vinegar, almonds, orange juice or olive oil, but all the veggies and other dressing ingredients were!)
This has been the coolest experience too. Every week, now that the veggies are on, we get to the farm at 7:00am and start counting out bags for the veggies. We bag the beans or peas, and then we put together the shares for all the members. People can buy a Full share, Half share, or Single share.
The full share, right now, is packing a 50lb onion bag FULL of veggies. The single share fills a 10lb bag, and the half share is in between. Rick and I bought a half share and have tons of veggies to store by the time the next Tuesday rolls around. It’s probably a good 25-30 pounds of produce a week.
So, at the farm we fill all the bags for both the working and non working members. We then load the bags, along with the egg shares, fruit shares and honey shares onto trucks that go to different distribution centers throughout the city for the non-working members to pick up. After all of that is finished, if there’s still time, we go hoe more weeds, or pick onions, or squash, or whatever chores Jerry has for us to do.
This happens every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, each day with a different group of working members. A lot of produce goes on these trucks! And all of it from Jerry & Jacquie’s farm (except the fruit and honey which come from a farm on the western slope – hooray for that partnership).
This is such a cool way to get your food. And not only is it far less expensive than the grocery store, but it’s both nutritionally and economically more healthy! Even with the cost of gas to drive that 120 miles once a week, I am saving hundreds on my groceries, getting fresher, healthier food, and supporting a local farm!
Do the math… it might be worth it for you to join a CSA in your state (or if you live here, get on the 2009 waiting list for Monroe!).