Zen and the Art of Farm Shares

When we sat down to dinner the other night at my “let’s use up some farm share stuff” meal with my Baitcon widow friends, it was the first time I’ve had the urge to say grace over a meal ever. The connection of the food to the land and to my own health and happiness had never been clearer. I didn’t end up saying anything (though we did toast), but here’s what I was thinking:
Dear creative force of the universe, serious thanks for making such wonderful and amazing forms of sustenance for me and my species. Thank you for caring for our animals and the people who care for them, and for this planet and the bounty that it provides. It took weather and soil and human effort to bring all this to my table and for that I am grateful.
Since several people have asked, here are the details on the farms and how to join the CSAs:

Our meat share comes from a farm called Chestnut Farm in Hardwick, MA. They have a website here:
I think they have a waiting list for new people to join the CSA, but contact them to find out. We didn’t wait very long to get in once we had put our name in.
They are pretty flexible, allowing us a no-pork share, and ever now and then they’ve accidentally given us ham or sausages or something, they’ve always just made it up with giving us more other stuff in equal weight, and encouraging us to donate it to friends or a food bank. Our friends have been very happy to receive the gift of all organic locally raised meat!
Our vegetable share is from Redfire Farm in Granby, MA, which as it turns out is only a few miles from Chestnut Farm, which is why we visited them both on the same day. Chestnut had a Meet the Meat day and then we went to Redfire and picked out own strawberries, herbs, and snap peas. They have a lovely little “serve yourself” farmstand, too, that sells other local products, milk, cream, cheese, honey, tea, produce, as well as flowers, potted plants, seedlings, etc etc.
They even have a flower share.
Add to that the fact that New England dairies supply our grocery stores, so the milk, cream, and even eggs I buy regularly are locally-sourced.
There are some things we still have to get from elsewhere, of course. I’m not about to give up rice, tea, sushi, European (or even California) wine or European cheese, nor chocolate. I have rice and tea pretty much every day. (Did you know I started a tea blog?) Perhaps the next step in our more-and-more connected world is going to be a more exotic form of farm share… or maybe that’s what a lot of the commerce we have already is. “Fair trade” has become a big buzz word but if a huge player like Starbucks or Celestial Seasonings Tea sets the bar high, it really makes a difference.
Oh, and one other thing I just remembered from the farm visit. They were telling me that Obama has done a lot to help small family farms already! Is this president awesome, or what? His administration has put through some directives regarding capital loans to small farms that have apparently really helped and made this kind of farming more viable. It feels so strange to have a president that I actually seem to agree with on so many things. Or maybe the strange part is that he seems to agree with ME.

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