Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Persephone Farm CSA

Since we are not great gardeners, yet we love to eat healthy food, Gregg and I decided to try something new this year: we are joining Persephone Farm's CSA (community supported agriculture) program. The best description of the CSA is in their own words (from the Persephone Farm website):
"From the first week of June through the end of October, subscribers receive an armload of fresh-picked seasonal vegetables, herbs and flowers from our farm. In addition, subscribers can choose to receive eggs from our happy hens as well as fruit, fresh–baked bread, cheese, wine, salmon and berries from other local producers. We aim to foster a deeper connection with all the foods we offer, through recipe sharing, seasonal celebrations and lots of neighborly conversation at our weekly pick-ups."
Persephone is a farm on 13 acres in the nearby town of Indianola. Of that, two acres are under cultivation, and they have an orchard, berries, free-ranging poultry and beautiful open fields, punctuated by grand maples and surrounded by tall trees.
We visited tonight for the opening of the CSA program, and an orientation for first-time members. This included a tour of the gardens, a light buffet of delicious hors d'oeuvres, artisanal cheeses, bread, local wine, beer and talks from the owner, an intern, a local beekeeper and the provider of cheese and bread.
It felt like the best kind of school - hands-on, outdoors, in the sunshine, right in the midst of what they were teaching us. I felt happy and blessed, listening to joyful, passionate people discussing their love of nature, good food sources, healthy agricultural practices and their daily work.
We bought a half-share of produce, and a weekly share of artisanal cheese, which is going to be plenty for the three of us. The cheese-maker (and bread-maker) is locally renowned chef and cookbook author Judith Weinstock, so you know it is going to be good. Every other week, we will also receive a bouquet of fresh flowers! Persephone grows flowers to encourage the bee population to pollinate their plants. Tonight, they gave us the gift of two tomato plants and a basil plant. The tomatoes are going into my parents' garden this weekend, because Gregg and I do not have "green thumbs."
Persephone's website states that biodiversity is the key to their success. They use crop rotation and homemade compost, avoiding pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The farm is not "certified organic," but their standards are higher than national "organic" standards. We are going to benefit from their practices by picking up our produce right from the farm each week. It will be fresh, local, varied and grown with love and care.
We are blessed to have Persephone Farm so close to our home. It is a leader in the field (pun intended), and has a respected internship program, with as many as 100 applicants for its four annual positions. Martha Stewart has even visited the farm; you can read about that event here.

There are still a few openings left in this year's CSA program, so if you are interested (and live in Kitsap County), follow this link to find out how to join!

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Sounds fantastic -- especially the cheese part!

Karen said...

I love growing my own food, though I still have a big learning curve. I try to embrace imperfection and flow with trial and error. It is a personal adventure with a lot of mistakes and a little bit of success. Your csa farm sounds quite the opposite and remarkably amazing. You are going to eat well this summer for sure.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is just fabulous! What a great idea….I sure wish MORE people like this started these programs around the country. (Maybe there is and I just don't know about it??) I can't wait to see what you get each time!
XO