By Analiese Paik
January is CSA registration month – your chance to buy local, organic food directly from the farmer who grows it. Spring/Summer 2011 CSA shares will be posted as they become available and can be found in a complete list on the CSA page.
Sport Hill Farm in Easton is expanding and has opened their shares to new CSA families. Pick up is on farm only, unless you participate in the Farm to Chef Connect option detailed below. Picking up your CSA share at the farm means you get to watch Patti pick your organic lettuces fresh so they don’t wilt and your kids get to see the chickens! Please email farmer Patti Popp at farmgal596 at yahoo dot com and ask her to send you the CSA agreement. You may also be interested in her Crop Cash program. This is essentially a farm credit that allows you to stop by the farm during regular retail hours and buy produce, fruit, eggs, bread, honey and any additional local products she may offer without having to carry around cash. The deadline for registration is February 15, or when shares sell out.
A third and brand new program for 2011 is Farm to Chef Connect, a joint offering of Sport Hill Farm and organic, vegetarian restaurant Green Gourmet to Go. Farm to Chef Connect sign up is monthly, with a minimum of one month’s lead time (sign up May 1 for June 1 pick up). The weekly shares can be picked up on Thursdays at the farm or restaurant in Black Rock and include produce from the farm and a quart of freshly prepared soup made from local, seasonal ingredients, plus a sweet treat made without refined sugars, flours or processed ingredients from the restaurant. Chef/owner Linda Soper-Kolton recently made news when she prepared a healthy meal at Holland Hill Elementary School as part of the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture and First Lady Michelle Obama. Linda is a registered “Chefs Move to Schools” chef, an initiative that’s part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, and is dedicated to making healthy meals easy, approachable and delicious.
If you live in Ridgefield, you surely know that Dina Brewster’s USDA/Baystate certified organic farm, The Hickories, is the only farm left in Farmingville. When you hear Dina talk about her CSA families, it’s clear that building community gives her joy and satisfaction. Dina increased the number of CSA shares offered on farm last year to 200 so some families had a rare chance to get a share last summer. Please register directly on the site to join the waiting list. Both fruit and vegetable shares are offered including 113 varieties of vegetables plus strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples and peaches. Share add ons include bread, eggs, meat and locally produced cheese.
Fort Hill Farm in New Milford, a Baystate certified organic farm, has opened up their waiting list to new registrants. But don’t expect a share this summer. The waiting list is 3-4 years out for two reasons – farmer Paul Bucciaglia has no additional land to farm and his 400 CSA shareholders (500-600 families) are extremely loyal. This farm drops half its shares in lower Fairfield County (Darien, New Canaan, Fairfield, etc.) and the rest are picked up on farm. Each share box includes a newsletter containing instructions and recipes for preparing some of the 140 different kids of vegetables they grow. Please register to join the waiting list on the farm’s web site and be sure to choose a “box” if it’s going to be dropped or the “mix and match” option for an on farm share.
Gazy Brothers 4 Season CSA (1/27/11)
Stone Gardens Farm CSA (1/28/11)