Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Fair Trade

This is the result of five hours of my time.  
Thanks to my friend, TxJuJu, I was introduced to a local CSA (community supported agriculture) farm back in November.  I have been volunteering every Wednesday since then.  Their crops are doing well, thanks to an irrigation system. 
Instead of being at the bottom of what is now, a 600 person waiting list, I get to bypass the list altogether.  All I have to do is volunteer.  It's called a 'work share'. It's really a barter.  I go once a week and do whatever needs to be done.  This week, it was pulling weeds that were threatening to engulf their strawberries, and then I moved on to cutting spinach.
Elsewhere on the farm, folks were cutting/bundling mustard greens, cutting broccoli rabe (aka rapini), pulling radishes and beets, snipping mint, and gathering arugula, broccoli, bok choy, and cauliflower.  Cabbages were picked last Saturday and spent the first part of the week in the coolers. Organic citrus is being provided by a farm in south Texas.  Three fun items coming in from the fields were "Romanesco" broccoli , "Graffiti" cauliflower, and "Cheddar" cauliflower. As you can tell from my pictures, I got some of the "Cheddar" variety.  
Next we brought in the days work and prepared it for boxing.  Spinach, arugula, radishes, beets, broccoli rabe and mustard greens all got a double washing.  The spinach and arugula got bagged, the rest were shook out to dry.  Everything is then put on a line and then we each take our place in that line.  I was the broccoli rabe and broccoli person.  Before me was the cabbage, and after me were the beautiful cauliflower varieties.   
The boxes are counted and put in their delivery truck.  We then put our 'pay' for the day in our own containers and off we go.  
It really is a joy to work in the dirt.  I've met so many nice people and the Johnson family is a delight.  It is so peaceful on the farm, and you know when you're done, that you've worked hard.  

The only thing missing this week was JuJu.  She was down with a cold.  The 'regulars' missed her a great deal.  Many wondered aloud whether they'd get through the morning without the yummy muffins she bakes as a treat for us all.
I'm so grateful that she introduced me to this bounty.  Thanks JuJu.  Now deciding what to make for dinner is a bit easier.


  1. Oh my...what a beautiful bounty you came home with. I've never heard of cheddar cauliflower - does it taste different than the standard variety? From your excitement and description, it sounds like you are having a wonderful time working at this CSA. Beautiful pics! :-)

  2. Oh it looks sooo good! There's something soothing to the soul while working in the garden.

    I'm growing Cheddar and Graffiti (purple) cauliflower this year. It's fun!

  3. Cee Cee this look wonderful. Makes me anxious for spring and summer. Beautiful photos of everything.

  4. I'm going to start doing this at a farm this spring. I think it will be more fun to work than just give them money.

  5. Awwwww, I was missed! How sweet! (Well, maybe it was mostly the muffins, but anyway....still sweet!) I woke up Wednesday morning with the realization that I'd made the right decision not to go. Plus no telling how many subscribers I might have infected by handling their produce. Yet I could hear those poor strawberry plants calling for my help. I'd go Saturday morning but we've got that meeting. Shoot! Oh well. Missing a week will give me time to clear the fridge of all vestiges of JBG produce. Mark hates how full-to-overflowing it gets with greens. So glad you got your full compliment of veggies this week.....maybe the bugs have been worked out of the system?

  6. That looks beautiful. It sounds as tho you are being rewarded not only with the bounty, but by working in the soil and meeting new friends. Thats great!