My farmers delivered the first basket of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) summer subscription today. They placed their weekly art on our front porch like the sacred offering it is.
Spectacular sparkle and color. As if that was not enough benefaction, they had already labored 10,000 hours tending soil, planting seeds, battling pests (without chemical resort), and harvesting produce.
Bountiful Blessings Farm’s John Dysinger once said, “the majority of our produce is the items that we think most people know and like. We sprinkle other things in for variety and adventure.”
You betcha. What a windfall. I never dreamed that such a kick in the pants could come in the form of fuel.
The small and local breed of farmer is godlike in their commitment to life – they prefer nature to the material. Like the best of our ancestors comeback to save our beleaguered minds and bodies with colorful food and prophesy for a new way of doing business. Modus operandi: they want to feed people good food.
And consider this – farming today isn’t exactly the hard won fight that the forefathers duked out. These new farmers sew old seeds using harmonic influences and technology. It’s working.
Curiosity about how food springs from the earth is cozy to my early memories. Since you once were a tiny person, you may recall the bending toward example.
Rapunzel was my favorite superhero story of childhood. It was not her long pony tail or the prince that got my attention; it was her mother’s desire for fresh greens and the witch’s beguiling garden that stirred my pot.
The witch’s garden was not unlike my grandfather’s. Opening the illustrated garden gate revealed chaos – a thicket to be precise, but upon closer observation, there was food aplenty.
Remember how Rapunzel’s father did the dastardly deed and traded their first born for unlimited greens? God bless the quandary, but I can only imagine that Rapunzel was the quick study she was because of her mother’s fare.
I did not always see the value of fresh food. My parents did not garden and in those days small farming had become history. We ate the convenience foods of the day and prepared trendy new recipes from the test kitchens of marketeers. I carried over with my own family table.
Then when I was 40-something, a missionary came calling. His name is John Drury.
He strolled into the chamber of commerce with a request. In those days the office was a catch-all community resource and they shuffled me over to help. “I’m a farmer,” he said. “I’m starting a CSA, would you help get the word out?” Enchanted.
Years later after interviewing countless small farmers and writing their stories, potential CSA subscribers still might say to me – I don’t understand how to cook the vegetables or alas, the vegetables have dirt on them.
Still the CSA is an idea whose time has come and is blooming in the school of life we are living. So practical. So completely life giving. So close to the Creator.
And surprise, if you think signing up might sound like overwhelm-ment, know that meal prep is as simple as cleaning, chopping and whirling. Fresh flavor is bright, and recipes are rarely required.
For over a decade, our CSA has given us a bounty of sustaining foods year round. By the literal sweat of their brow, John and Pam and now second generation Kelli and Joshua Dysinger have nourished us in ways that cannot be realized from metal shelves. Today’s delivery, exhibit A: carrots, beets, hakurei turnips, radishes, braising greens, scallions, curly kale, escarole, Tokyo bikanan, redhead lettuce, dill and oregano. Heaven.
That is not where it ends, all ye hungry folk. Hometown life flourishes at this party too. Figuring out which foods are produced in your area is a way to expand the treasure: chickens from the Taylors, lamb and liver from Sam and pork roast, sausages and flowers from Cliff and Jen. Assorted rarities and handcrafted pasta come from Samantha. Blueberries from Deanna and cheese from Bonnie Blue. Greens come from Larry; beef and eggs arrive from Mikki and Kevin and the bread is baked by Erik and Maria.
Don’t know about you, but I’ll fork over streets paved with gold any day for the country road leading to my farmer’s fields. The local farmer is back, y’all. Praise God from whom all blessings flow directly into my kitchen.