Can't wait til June!!
By: Robin Schirmer (May 8, 2008)
I met Tony and Dela last year at the Oak Park Farmers Market and they were my first introduction to CSAs. Though I didn't subscribe until this year, I sometimes was able to pick up an extra share that they brought--and enjoyed getting to know vegetables (like purple kohlrabi) that I didn't even know existed. In late August, I had the sweetest tomatoes I've ever tasted! They also sell the A to Z (Asparagus to Zucchini) Cookbook, which really helps when you encounter a veggie you've never heard of and need to know what to do with it and how to store it.
I've visited their lovely farm and it's a treat for a city/suburb dweller like me to see the animals in their unconfined glory. Did you know that roosters crow all day long? I didn't; I thought it was just a morning thing. And uncaged hens will drop an egg when they get the urge, not just when they're sitting in a cage or nest. It surprised me to see an egg on the floor of the coop, but Tony took it in stride and just scooped it up and put it under one of the sitting hens--apparently they're not too proprietary about their own eggs.
The goats and their kids romp around and eat anything in sight. A dozen or so years ago, Dela started making goats' milk soap. As Dela puts it, they originally got goats to provide the manure for their naturally grown vegetables (I guess you can't use the O-word without certification), but the goats ate so much that they needed to find a way for the goats to earn their keep. So they started using the goats' milk as the main ingredient in their beautiful, mild soaps. (Generous to a fault, Tony and Dela shared their soap-making craft with a dozen or more Wisconsin farmers, creating a guild of soapmakers--and providing those small farms with a skill that helps them bridge the seasons with a product that isn't strictly seasonal.)
I've subscribed in earnest to their CSA this year and can't wait to start receiving my share! How you gonna keep me down in the suburbs now that I've seen the farm?!
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