Photo by Anastatia Curley
To try sweet potato and apple gratin, click here for the recipe.
I realized recently that I've gone soft, sustainable-food-wise. Sure, I shop at farmer's markets; I worked for a nonprofit that educated people about the intertwined issues of food, agriculture, and the environment. I could lecture you for hours on the various ways our country's collective diet is turning the atmosphere into a pressure cooker.
But I still don't bake my own bread or can my home-grown produce. I, er, don't actually grow any home-grown produce (in my defense, until recently I worked at an educational garden.) There are lots of food-related things I've always sort of meant to do that I haven't done yet.
So I made my list and a few resolutions, and then I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture). I've always wanted to be a member of a CSA. Even more than shopping at farmer's markets, it's a way to throw in your lot with local farmers. At the beginning of the season, you buy what's usually called a "share" in a local farm. You pay a sum of money upfront, and you get a box of vegetables usually once a week. This way, the farmer has capital at the start of the season, when it's most needed, and you have a steady source of produce. Some CSAs also require that you volunteer for a certain number of hours on the farm. Depending on the farm (or the group of farms) running the CSA, a share might just be produce, or contain milk, meat, eggs, or bread.