Being a Locavore in 2018

As we enjoy yet another snowstorm this winter of 2018, thoughts of Spring are starting to sneak into my mind.  It started when I noticed it was still light outside as I started dinner the other night, and then I noticed that the sun was up when the alarm went off this morning.

I must admit I like winter. I am an active hibernater. I like dressing in cozy layers, soft sweaters and wide wale corduroys. I like how clean everything on the farm looks when it is blanketed in a layer of pristine white snow and I just love the hearty stews, soups and roasts centered on the hearty root vegetables and brassicas available to us locavores.

Being a locavore – someone who eats what is locally grown and in season — is mandatory for us.  As owners of Yellow Stonehouse Farm, John and I must “walk the talk”.  After all – we expect our CSA members to eat what we grow when it’s harvested, or in the case of our Winter Share, when we distribute from winter storage. So of course, we do the same. Thankfully, it’s a pleasure because these vegetables are the basis for the warm and comforting dishes we love to eat when its’ cold and blustery outside.  As I write this, I have a delicious stew of veal, onions and carrots simmering away for dinner tonight.

I enjoy knowing we are eating vegetables that are grown locally, organically and are good for us because these are the vegetables that are meant to sustain us during the cold times – as our ancestors did back before commercial growers starting shipping vegetables around the globe.  I think it’s healthier to eat what’s available to us based on the calendar – during winter, we eat carrots and potatoes, turnips and Brussel sprouts which contain the nutrients we need now to stay healthy.

Eating healthy foods, specifically vegetables, is one way to maintain our health and well-being.  Processed food have so many chemicals, additives, salt and sugar that they aren’t healthy for us. We’re not vegetarians but we eat lots of fresh produce and strive to make sure that at least two thirds of every plate are vegetables or fruit.  How?  Well, by adding vegetables to sandwiches, eggs and other dishes, and it’s easy to cook extra’s to add cold later to a salad.  I also harvest and dry herbs to make herb mixtures to add to recipes and even a healthy salt free salad dressing mix for homemade salad dressings.  All of these spice mixes and salad dressing mixes are offered to our CSA members so they can experiment as well.

Sharing recipes and ideas on how to cook the many vegetables we offer CSA members is an integral part of what we do at Yellow Stonehouse Farm.  We know many of our members aren’t familiar with some of our produce, so we provide them the help they need to take full delicious advantage of their farm-share.

But still, we entertain ourselves with thoughts of Spring and what we are going to grow next season. Reading seed catalogs is fun – we peruse seed catalogs and learn about new varieties of vegetables to offer our 2018 CSA members.  We look for new varieties that offer different colors and tastes as well as new hybrids that are bred to be more drought pest, and disease resistant – so that we can continue our organic practices of avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides and continue to offer the highest quality organic fruits and vegetables to our CSA members.  Just a reminder – membership applications for Yellow Stonehouse Farm’s CSA 2018 Summer share are now available.

The Summer Season is Starting!

picture of pickup area and John

Now the fun begins!  We start distributing vegetable shares this week to our many members – both new & old.  We are working hard to gather vegetables, make the distribution area sparkle, fine-tune just the right recipes, and generally get ready for our members to come to the farm.  We can’t wait to see everyone.

Every CSA is a little bit different….at Yellow Stonehouse Farm’s CSA, we are trying to accomplish several goals in addition to providing really fresh and delicious organic produce.  As I’ve written before, we are trying to keep the farm a farm in perpetuity.  There’s a lot of reasons for this – the primary one being that America is losing family farms at an alarming rate, and we think small farms are better for the planet than industrial farms.  Plus, we think our farm is a particularly beautiful and productive farm: we have great soil, plentiful water, a healthy and robust ecosystem, gorgeous fields and a consistent breeze, all isolated from other farms protecting us from diseases and pests.  Quite frankly, this farm is so perfect for farming it would be a crime to sacrifice it to any other use!

But it’s the members that make our CSA work.  CSA members are the lifeblood of the whole thing – helping us make the farm successful by joining our farm and sharing our farming enterprise.  Our members share our goals – they want to support local farming, to know where their food comes from – and who is growing it.

Our members encourage us!  It is so rewarding to grow for others and see the joy it provides: the small child tasting young peas for the first time or picking a juicy cherry tomato in the sunny fields; the oncology patient eating organic vegetables as part of their treatment; the member who just loves getting his hands in the dirt, weeding, as he picks beans; the member who shares her favorite recipe and brings in a sample for all to taste!  Members provide us feedback, give us new ideas, and let us know when we get it right (and wrong) so that we can improve.   So thank you YSF CSA members – see you soon!