Friday, January 30, 2009

Support Familiy Farming: Join Our CSA!

Cheverly Community Market is very pleased to partner with Clan Stewart Farms to bring CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) to our community. Download information here or email Loy Hayes for further details. The cost is $575 for a full share. In checking a few other CSAs, that seems to be well within the reasonable range... and none of those deliver to Cheverly! Clan Stewart will sell 20 shares in Chevelry. Good Reasons to Join a CSA 1. Local produce tastes better. There is no comparison between Bibb lettuce picked fresh this morning or corn fresh from the stalk and their supermarket counterparts. 2.Local produce is better for you. The shorter the distance between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food. Most fresh produce loses much of its nutritional value within 48 hours of harvesting. Locally grown food, collected at our CSA pick-up soon after harvest, retains its nutrients. 3. Local food preserves genetic diversity. In the modern industrial agricultural system, varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen simultaneously and withstand harvesting equipment; for a tough skin that can survive packing and shipping; and for an ability to have a long shelf life in the store. CSA farms grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest and the most flavorful, nutritious food. 4. Local food is safer. With all the issues related to food safety and homeland security, there's an assurance that comes from looking a farmer in the eye or walking in the fields where your food comes from. 5. Local food supports local farm families. Across the country, farmers and farms are disappearing and no wonder, with commodity prices below the cost of production. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food—which means farm families can afford to stay on the farm, and keep it active. 6. Local food builds community. When you buy direct from a CSA farmer, you are engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and grower, and you are supporting a local business. 7. Local food preserves open space. Our agricultural landscape will survive only as long as farms are financially viable. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape. Getting to know the folks who grow your food and encouraging sustainable farming is another way to protect the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. 8. Local food keeps taxes down. According to several studies, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most residential development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services. 9. Local food benefits the environment and wildlife. Our farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued. We grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by our crops. We don't use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Additionally, the habitat of our farm provides a home for wildlife. 10. Local food is an investment in our future. By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms here tomorrow, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and abundant food.
Buy local food. Sustain local.
We are offering only full shares. Season is 20 weeks from last week of May till late October Share Contents: Each week's share will include about $30 of produce, although the quantities will be greatest in mid-summer and early fall when summer produce is ready. We plant all the usual vegetables (greens like spinach, lettuce, chard, arugula, peas, summer squash,several varieties of beans, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, potatoes, winter squash, etc.) with an emphasis on heirloom vegetables for their superior taste. All our vegetables are raised without pesticides or herbicides, using organic practices. From time to time if we run short on certain items (strawberries and asparagus, for example), we may supplement with produce from a neighboring farm that also raises vegetables without pesticides/herbicides/commercial fertilizers. Other Products: We raise cattle, sheep, hogs, and laying hens on pasture at our farm. We sell pastured meats by the cut (flash frozen and USDA-inspected) at the Cheverly Market. If you would like to purchase extra farm products to be picked up with your CSA share, just ask us for a price list.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fresh foods can help you with those New Year's resolutions!

The Washington Post has a great article in the Health section, Minor Changes Could Mean Major Improvements to Your Diet. The writer reminds us about some things we already know: plan, eat slowly, read food labels, and offers some ideas that may be new: eat more whole foods, make Mondays meatless (we're not saying every day, but cutting back a little can be good for your health and finances), and focus on food.
Farmer's markets (and Cheverly Community Market, in season) can be a great aide in improving your health. These markets offer the freshest produce, organic meats and seafood from small ranchers, and other foods made with minimal processing and choice ingredients. You can save money by planning your market trip and cooking in quantity, and you help the local economy by keeping your dollars local, which in turn helps local producers to grow or make better products for you. It's a cycle that we all have a stake in.
Even in the off-season for our community market, you can buy organic, support your local businesses and small markets, and make more of your meals from scratch. It's the perfect time to perfect your bread recipe, make pasta with your kids, crack some nuts (they're much more delicious right out of the shell!) and enjoy the quiet of the season. And if you canned tomatoes or fruit this summer, now is a great time to enjoy a reminder of summer's great bounty.
Yes, spring and those delicious fresh, new vegetables seem far off in this dreary winter weather, but it will be here before you know it! In the meantime, if you need a Market fix, visit our flickr group. We have photos from the past season -- they'll be sure to warm you!