MY FARMER'S MARKET BASKET
by Chris Wilbeck
I picked up our first CSA farmer's market basket
on September 1. CSA stands for "Community Supported Agriculture." A CSA is a way for the food-buying
public to create a relationship with a local farm. You pay for the season's bounty upfront and receive a weekly basket
of food in return. You also get to know the folks who grow your food and can ask them questions about how they
My CSA relationship is with Funny Farm located right here in Rippey. Alexis and Marcy Hooper (sister-in-laws) grow the produce - chemical and pesticide
free. They call their place Funny Farm because they are creating gardens that are child-friendly
and fun to explore. Alexis and Marcy began bringing their produce to the Jefferson farmer's market this year. They started
offering their CSA memberships this Fall.
As you can see from the picture of my basket, I received
a generous offering of vegetables, some of which I have never cooked! The basket included: purple eggplant
(both large and small fairy tale), green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes (ox heart, brandywine, tiny yellow pear), sweet
corn, peppers (green and hot), decorative gourds and a variety of squash (acorn, spaghetti, patty pan). Every
week I get a new supply of produce and personal letters from Alexis and Marcy explaining the contents. Sometimes they
even include recipes.
My Fall CSA membership will only cost us about $10 a week. That's not much, when that
same $10 will pay for just a few fancy mocha espressos (which, by the way, I love and still buy on occasion). The
produce I receive obviously won't supply us with all our grocery needs, but it's a nice healthy percentage. Some say
that buying a membership in a CSA, or buying food from your local farmer's market, is a way to "vote" for fresh
local foods and directly support your neighbors who grow them. Even $10 a week can keep fresh local food flourishing
in an area, if a lot of people support the idea by also "voting" with their dollars.
The basket of produce
itself was just beautiful - I had to take a picture. However, eating the delicious food is what this basket
is all about. Knowing that your neighbor painstakingly and lovingly tended to the bounty and picked it fresh for
you and your family makes it even more special.
Interested in joining Funny Farm's
CSA? Contact Alexis Hooper at 515-291-7873 or send an email through their website at http://www.funnyfarmcsa.com/.