Friday, July 20, 2012
Roots and Shoots Farm - 4th Week of CSA Food 2012
As I carefully stored away this week's CSA food basket from Roots and Shoots Farm, it reminded me of thoughts I shared on a recent CBC Fresh Air interview regarding the whole business of Community Supported Agriculture.
Listen: (Runs 10:27)
I confessed to having romantic notions for choosing to become involved in this fast growing food trend of joining my dinner plate to a local farmer's field. Roots and Shoots Farm's CSA program has grown from 60 shares to 200 shares in 3 years time. The Westboro location is their keenest market.
Those romantic notions do loom large. I grew up on a farm and I have wonderful memories of our gigantic garden. The rows of rainbow colours, producing to overflowing. Beautiful specimens eaten raw or cooked up for that night's dinner. The excess then preserved, to be enjoyed throughout the winter months. Memories of perfection. Although not totally forgotten, the images have certainly dulled as to the many times we were subjected to the blights, the beetles, the slow germination, the droughts, the excessive moisture, early frost, late frost. The hale.
Lucky me. This is probably the best food basket so far since I started as a CSA member in 2010, the year this farm started. Despite investing in the risk of this farmer's venture, he still shelters me a bit from the downside that was a real part of my farm gardening days. My basket does not contain lettuce with many missing and chewed up leaves. My tomatoes do not have large blemishes. My garlic does not have rot. Severely damaged produce does not leave the farm. If things go badly, we may have smaller baskets and smaller produce, but we likely will never see the really unsightly stuff.
Good news. Our baskets so far have been large and luscious. This is in part due to the diligent work of Robin, Jesse and their faithful team to ensure the best quality comes from the field, through vigilant weeding, constant irrigation and careful planning of when to harvest. Because they have chosen to run a certified organic farm, perhaps their challenges to deliver are even greater.
This year in particular has been very hard for farmers because of the severe lack of rain. Thankfully, Roots and Shoots Farm has a well planned irrigation program.
Where the sun beats down the hardest, my lawn is burning up and taking on desert-like conditions I am so very thankful for my super juicy tomatoes, flavourful carrots and tender greens.
Boston leaf lettuce
If you want to learn more about the farm, the contact information for Roots and Shoots Farm is:
They also sell at a number of markets around the city, including the Ottawa Farmers' Market on Sunday at Brewer Park. 8 am to 3 pm.
[Disclaimer: My comments are my own. I do not do sponsored posts. Roots and Shoots Farm has never asked me to write about their farm. I did this post because I love their food. I receive nothing in return for waxing poetic about their great produce.]