Top marks for Clark Valley Farm!
By: Tobey Crockett (Feb 27, 2009)
This will be my second year as a subscriber of the Clark Valley Farm which is created with loving care and enthusiasm by Eric, Jim, Dana and the WWOOFers (world wide opportunities on organic farm workers) who come to work there from all over.
Last year we had a lot of unusually chilly weather - I know because I was growing my own vegetable garden at the same time. My garden was my first ever veggie patch, and I learned a lot from comparing my efforts with those at the farm. What a lot of fun! I also have to say what a bargain - you really get a lot of food for the weekly money and it is all organic too and such yummy quality - I was very happy about it both from a financial standpoint and from an ethical one too, because yes, I really do care where the food we eat is coming from.
This year, Eric & Jim are expanding the locations where food is grown so that they are able to get some deeper upland sunshine to promote certain crops. That's good - coastal fog has its limits for corn and tomatoes maybe. (Though I had some great tomatoes actually -Early Girls- but almost everyone I know had a tough year with these red fruits) Anyway, Eric & Jim are also adding more produce from a few other farmers - fruit like lemons, apples and peaches from other local farmers to better round out the offerings. Artichokes perhaps. I think it's great.
If you are at all on the fence about whether this is a good farm, don't worry. They are careful, generous and fun over there at Clark Valley. We like going to pick up our bag at the stand and kibbitzing about the weather and what's coming next. It's obviously a lot of hard work, but I am really glad they enjoy doing it and they provide a really nice product.
What I will say about a CSA versus choosing your own every week is that sometimes you get new things you never bought before. Well, we liked the (new to us) kohlrabi so much we planted it ourselves this year too. Learning new veggies is great, and it's a great way to get a balanced diet and expand your cooking options. People want to feel more connected to nature and life in general and being surprised by discoveries in your harvest every week is a great way to do that - and at a bargain price you really can't complain about!
Another aspect is that you may get a lot of something - lettuce for example. Trying to keep up with our lettuce really led us to actually eat more salads every day - and that was always our plan so that was a great boon to our health practices too. You learn to squeeze new things into your recipes. Minced radishes are great in tabouhli for instance - who knew?
They include recipes in their newsletters. I sound just like an ad but really, Clark Valley Farm's CSA is the way to go - cheap, fresh, local, organic and health conscious. What's not to love?
Going with the flow of the seasons - that's a beautiful aspect of being part of a CSA. I think it's great.
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