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New Year’s Resolutions…

January 3, 2011

If you’re anything like me, you’ve no doubt made a lot of food resolutions for 2011. Eat healthier, eat more veggies, less refined sugars, more whole grains… that sort of thing.

Sometimes I have to take inventory and remember how lucky we are  to live in a place where we can get a lot of local fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses and breads. I forget sometimes that a lot of the country isn’t like this, where grocery shelves are stocked with “corn-unit” processed foods and words like  “kohlrabi” and “radicchio” are foreign and scary.

I love chocolate, and mangos and avocados and coffee. I can’t live without these things. But I draw the line at buying imported apples from New Zealand when we have such an ample  NW supply at our fingertips, or shipping salad greens across the country when it’s so easy to grow them here! Is this really more economical?

Last night, we watched a special episode of “Iron Chef”, and the secret ingredient was “anything from the White House Garden”. I was reminded about this great trend happening right now in our country (thank you Michelle), as the Iron Chefs went out and harvested fresh greens and heirloom radishes for their culinary creations  (all of which would be impossible for me to repeat, but still…).  I think as a nation, we’re getting tired of looking at high-fructose corn syrup products on the supermarket shelves and we’re starting to move en masse towards farmer’s markets and CSA’s for “real” food. Even the new ‘Food Safety Bill’ passed by Congress last week recognizes that small farmers need to be protected and encouraged… and an amendment exempting small farmers from filling out onerous paperwork and enduring expensive inspections was passed along with the Bill, recognizing that farms that are smaller and carefully tended tend to be inherently ‘safer’ than industrialized food systems (even Organic ones!).

But here’s the truth:  I admit that I waffled a LOT this winter about whether to continue farming or to throw in the towel and get a ‘real’ job to pay the rent, and live just that much more comfortably. Let “someone else” grow my food. I see it again and again among my friends… young idealistic farmers giving it all up to find a job that could pay off their student loans or mortgages. I was discouraged by how little we tend to value agriculture and how easy it is to take food for granted. Despite the surge in interest in small, local agriculture, it’s still a very difficult financial venture when you have to compete with cheap produce shipped in from other parts of the world.

But I’ve come to realize that this CSA project is more than growing and selling produce. It has a lot more to do with taking control over what kind of food we eat and what we do with our land, and how to hone our skills and be more self-reliant as a CULTURE. And as CSAs and farmers’ markets gain popularity, and guerrilla gardens sprout up in urban areas all over the country, I’m reminded that our little CSA project is  a very small part of a very large and powerful political movement that may very well save this country one day.

So, my resolution for this year is to charge ahead, and expand, and feed more families with exciting, beautiful, local, colorful organic produce, eggs, cheese and hand-crafted breads… and to be grateful for all of those people who support us in this project…. with land, with machinery, with labor, materials, memberships, feedback, and encouragement. And be grateful for Jon, who would benefit directly if I could bring home a big paycheck from working a ‘real’ job, but supports me nonetheless.

This year, we have the land to expand our membership to about 30 shares (thank you, Rollin and Corby!),  about half of which are already filled from returning memberships. One of our members from last year is attempting her own garden venture to feed her family, and I couldn’t be more proud!

Please contact us soon if you would like to be on the list for 2011, and refer to the “How to Join our CSA” page for details.

Hope to hear from you soon. Happy and healthy eating in 2011!!

Much love,

the dirtbox.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Polly Basile permalink
    January 10, 2011 2:18 pm

    Way to go, Nadine…an inspirational piece and reminder we – as a culture – CAN do a better job of the way we eat and source our food…..taking care of our health, our family’s health and supporting local farmers at the same time is the path I want to take! And if you ever want to open CSA “branch” farm in MI…well, you know who to call 🙂 Love.

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