I picked up my last 2012 Sol to Seed Farm CSA box today from Grand Central Baking Company (a designated CSA pick-up site near my home). For the past twenty weeks, most of the produce eaten in this house was grown on one small, ecologically responsible farm situated forty-five minutes from my house. Sol to Seed Farm resides in one of the most beautiful agricultural regions in Washington state: the Snoqualmie Valley. If you find yourself in Seattle next summer, I recommend a visit to least one Sno-Valley Tilth farm stand or Carnation Farmers Market. This week’s box includes:
You may already know the definition of Community Support Agriculture or CSA, but for the rest, let’s just say it is a grassroots partnership between a farmer or group of farmers and eaters. This partnership helps reconnect eaters to the source of their food. Before each growing season, a farm assigns monetary value of producing say, 20 weeks worth of food, and then divides this amount into “shares” charged at a flat upfront fee and marketed to individuals and businesses. These customers then receive weekly “shares” of seasonal produce (and sometimes eggs, meat, cheese, flowers) grown on that farm or cooperative of local farms throughout the season. Provided there are no dramatic hiccups in production (i.e. floods, frost, earthquake, etc), everybody wins.
There are many types of CSA operations in Northwest Washington and across the country. A compliment to farmers markets, regional food hubs and grocery stores, CSAs continue to meet the growing demand for food that is locally and responsibly produced and in season, by people who really care about the land, animals and water resources. CSA’s help establish rapport between producer and eaters.
I’m looking forward to a day when the food that is grown responsibly by all sizes of farms is marketed and consumed locally. Professionally and personally, I am working to reduce barriers for local producers so that the food they grow can be everyday regular food. Local food needn’t be special. It should be the norm.
Before the season began, I paid $500 to Sol to Seed Farm for the CSA season. By mid-June, I began collecting my prepaid produce boxes, which worked out to be $25 per box. The free loaf of freshly baked bread each week was a free bonus. I really hope Sol to Seed and Grand Central Baking Company continue their relationship next year.