I’m so excited! We just got our CSA (community supported agriculture) box of fresh fruits and vegetables! I made high pitched girly squeals or excitement, and then I unpacked the box, carefully removing each all of the items one at time. We received all sorts of fruits and vegetables! I laid them out on the dinning room table and took a few pictures. I know I’m silly, but each item seemed equally precious to me as I took in each marvel’s colors and shape. I carefully piled most of the fruit in my big fruit bowl. Next, I cut the hearts out of the lettuce, chopped the bottom end of the celery and separated the greens from the root vegetables to help them last longer and preserve flavor. I carefully wrapped the vegetables in reusable plastic bags to preserve their moisture in the refrigerator.

While at the National Heirloom Exposition, I met up with an old college classmate. I had been contemplating signing up with a local CSA program for years. Generally it’s much more cost effective and more environmentally responsible to buy your produce in season this way than driving to the store, and sometimes who knows how far those items are trucked, flown or shipped in from. Besides with a CSA box, I get to pay the farmers more directly. I felt rather conflicted though in choosing a local program; there are so many local farms in our area. How was I supposed to narrow them down to pick just one? Capay Organic Family Farm not only grows their own seasonal foods year round but also swaps fruits and vegetables with other Northern California organic farms in their co-op, which allows for greater variety due to the wide variety of climates and soils in this part of the state.

Capay has several different subscriptions so you pick the amount, types of produce you need and frequency of delivery. You can even get eggs, nuts and trail mix. On the next delivery day, the delivery guy can pick up your old box for reuse and recycling. Just make sure you remember to put your boxes out beforehand, otherwise you might amass quite a collection.

With my utter glee not yet diminished, I happily danced around the kitchen for a bit before reading the accompanying newsletter, which was this time focused on mangoes. Typically the newsletters feature upcoming events, articles, seasonal produce information, cooking ideas and recipes. As an added bonus, the accompanying packing list includes variety names, which is really helpful if you like to save your seeds for your garden or local seed exchanges, like with a gardening club or seed bank.

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