As the big agribusiness toxic food industry continues to harm the earth to make cheaper and less nutritious foods, healthy alternative sustainable food systems taking root, gaining strength and nourishing people and planet. Once such model, the CSA, which stands for “community supported agriculture,” is growing here in NYC. Members of a CSA buy shares in a local farm at the beginning of the growing season. As the produce grows, the share holders receive a portion of the beautiful abundance that is harvested each week.
Imagine a bag full of fresh juicy cucumbers, luscious tomatoes, vibrant leafy greens, robust onions, and some beautiful broccoli! Joining a CSA is a great way to be experience a variety of local foods and be introduced to new vegetables. Suddenly you’ll be expanding your palate, and embarking on new culinary adventures. With no choice but to explore whole new worlds of food, your creativity will be inspired. In your exploration, you will discover a whole new way to nourish your body and soul.
My good friends have been developing a special place called Growing Heart Farm for the past few years, located in Pawling, NY. They offer an awesome summer CSA and are registering people now!
CSA’s often have a drop-off location in the city, making local, fresh vegetables easily accessible to us urban dwellers. This model nourishes the farmer and the earth, and delivers vegetables of a much higher quality than what we buy in the store. CSA produce passes through far less hands, and carries much fewer food miles, making it a sustainable option for the future.
Often the farms providing CSAs refrain from using chemicals and pesticides. Even if the produce is not “certified organic,” (the certification is extremely expensive and unrealistic for these small sustainable local farms) the produce is of a much better quality than those stamped “organic” at Whole Foods. Vegetables grown with love, coming straight from the source, have a special quality that is impossible to get from any agribusiness produce.
When you receive your first CSA package, aside from the vibrancy and freshness of the veggies, you may notice that they look more “earthy” or real, as they have not grown in a monoculture system. Monoculture, the system used by big agribusiness, is designed to create uniform, plastic looking vegetables. CSA veggies are designed by nature, and will carry this beauty and intelligence in their form. Embrace the differences! Learn to love the diversity of nature!
CSA’s and other sustainable food system models are a key element to a healthy thriving collective future. CSA’s build community, connect us to the land and to those who grow our food. The beloved farmers are super courageous to put their hands in the dirt and fully commit to loving this earth and her people. CSA’s are an evolutionary way of nourishing our bodies, our communities and the planet.
The more local farms supplying NYC’s food needs, the healthier New Yorkers will become. To make these models viable, we must step outside of our usual pattern of going to Whole Foods where we buy produce that has come all the way from California, and try something new, something local, something revolutionary!
I’ve been visiting Growing Heart Farm for years, and I’m always rejuvenated by walking on the land, cooking and eating the amazing produce grown there. As a CSA member, you are invited to visit the farm, connect with the land, and participate in the growing of your food. Visiting Growing Heart Farm is a great way to take a break from the craziness of the city, walk barefoot on the earth, and be nourished by food that you can pull out of the ground yourself!
Aside from nourishing city people with the highest quatliy produce possible, Growing Heart Farm also hosts events and retreats, such as Farm-To-Table Yoga Dinners. I will be working my culinary magic in the Growing Heart kitchen for the June 30th dinner! Come practice, eat and play with us!
Being a part of this community is both an inspiration and an invitation to a more conscious way of living.
Also check out the Growing Heart Farm facebook page