Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Farm

This past weekend, I canned. I took about 20 pounds of tomatoes, and cucumbers, and tomatillos, and turned them into sauce, and pickles, and salsa. I recently taught myself how to can using a water bath method. I have become somewhat obsessed with the whole process. There is something almost magical about turning vegetables that are at their freshest, into something that is now carefully jarred, and put away for another day.

Last year, David and I made the decision to purchase a share in a CSA. Community supported agriculture. Right in Cherry Valley is the Josie Porter Farm. We visited it last year, and met the farmer. My girls eyes almost popped out of their heads when the farmer introduced herself. They had it in their heads that farmers were men. A female farmer blew them away.

Heidi, the farmer, is gentle and kind. Her husband and she run the farm. It is an organic farm, and we welcomed the chance to feed our family with produce grown locally. The price of a share was reasonable. Little did we know that what we were paying for would be priceless.

In the Spring, we helped plant onions, and basil, and tomatoes. My girls loved walking barefoot in the fields, and digging in the dirt, and placing small seedlings into the soil. We picked up our share each week. The girls were amazed when they were served meals with the very vegetables they helped plant. Charlotte swore they tasted that much better than the vegetables we get at the store. The onions were a little bit sweeter. The Basil smelled even better "than normal".

The amount of vegetables began to get enormous each week, as the summer went on. We were leaving each week with pounds and pounds of tomatoes, and cucumbers, and delicious green beans, and carrots. Far more than we could eat in a week. Far more than what the share cost. It was financially, the smartest purchase we have made, in so many ways.

What has paid off the most is the time my family and I have had each week. That a farm, and the bounty we bring home from it, has made my family come together, in such a natural, easy way. To participate in planting. To see the fields where the food comes from,  has been so rewarding. Not to mention how David and I have our weekly ritual of separating the produce, and cleaning the herbs, and storing them away. It might sound silly, but we look forward to it each week.

Canning all of the tomatoes and cucumbers has also satisfied the hunter and gatherer in me. To see the rows of jars in my mudroom, has made me feel like we will be OK in leaner times. That if we run short, and we always do, we have food stores. We are prepared for the colder days that will be here before you know it.

And we will be able to taste one of the best summers we have had as a family.

 Thank you Josie Porter Farm.

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