June 1st has arrived and it is now definitely "the season." No, I am not talking about the time for debutante balls in London for the well-to-do families of the nineteenth century. It is time for all things local food, including, but not limited to, strawberries, asparagus, greens, farm visits, CSAs, and lots of farmers markets.
We picked up our first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) yesterday from Dillner Family Farm. I've linked to the page on the site that lists the items that were in the first CSA share. The good news is, Dillner still has CSA shares available. So do lots of farms, such as Edible Earth Farm, Kretschmann Farm, Brenckles Organic Farm, Who Cooks for You Farm, Harvest Valley Farms, and Clarion River Organics. Some of these have not started delivery yet, so you won't have missed a thing. Check out this CSA guide to see what farm might have a drop-off location near you. The guide is not entirely complete or correct, FYI.
CSAs just make everything easier. You don't have to think as much or make extra decisions, which we all know is stressful. You get the delicious food automatically (well, kind of -- you just have to remember to pick it up and unload it from your car or bike) and then you can use it as you wish. And, you get to support a local farm, farmland, farmer, and farmer's family. It's so great to have a relationship with a farm and farmer. Usually subscribers can visit their CSA farm and many farms will communicate with subscribers via an e-mailed newsletter. What are you waiting for?
In our first CSA yesterday, we got asparagus and a zucchini, both of which are already gone. We also got red onions with their greens, green garlic, greenhouse tomatoes, spinach, a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, and a parsley plant. The spinach, some garlic, some onion greens, and four eggs are baking in the oven in a quiche right now. We will probably just eat the tomatoes with salt and pepper along side it. And, my kids are taking care of the bread pretty quickly.
So, as you can see, a day has passed, and we are almost out of fresh produce. That's where farmers markets (a market where many farmers come together at a certain day, place, and time to sell produce they have grown) and farm markets (these are located at a farm, where that particular farm sells whatever it wants, but often sells produce it grows or gets from local farms) come in handy. Many farmers markets have opened this week. Today Farmers at Phipps and Mt. Lebanon have opened as well as the Garfield Farm market. The link is on the side of the blog also, but I really like this listing by day of which markets are on which days by Good Food Pittsburgh. And, if you go to a farmers market in the next few days, you will probably see strawberries!
If you read this and you get a CSA, please share which one it is and anything about it that you feel would be helpful to know. Thanks!