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Lettuce Talk about CSA


/ BY MISSY BLACK Other CSAs R


ed tomatoes don’t travel well, but those are the ones we want. One of the benefits of community supported agricul- ture (CSA) is that you get weekly installments of fresh produce that’s picked closer to maturity. That means you can immediately eat


the red, ripe tomatoes as opposed to the pink or yellow ones picked by commercial farmers for better transport.


“It’s an economy of scale,” said Kristine Selleck, owner of Sandy Flats Farm in Middleville. “Large commercial farms are mechanically harvesting, using chemicals and grocery stores want perfect-looking fruit and veggies,” Selleck says with a CSA, you’re getting fresh vegetables weekly, supporting a local farmer and decreasing


your carbon footprint. “You’re not using produce that has been shipped hundreds of miles,” she said. Practicing organic farming, Sandy Flats offers fruits and veggies fresh from the vine that need just a swipe


on the jeans before you take a bite. The breakdown is natural goodness—sans pesticides, herbicides and chemicals—every week from early June to mid-September. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, lettuce, honey, blueberries, potatoes, corn, radishes, watermelons and herbs such as basil, cilantro and parsley are what you get, allowing for healthier eating habits and more options in the kitchen. The CSA philosophy boils down to “food with a farmer’s face on it,” according to Laurie Arboreal, a grower


at Eaters’ Guild, which is now in its 12th year of CSA operation. “There’s a community involvement. You can


share a share with another family and keep an e-mail connection with others to exchange ideas for storage and recipes.” Eaters’ Guild also offers a winter drop, heavy


on root crops such as beets, turnips, potatoes, car- rots and rutabagas. “It’s rich in those grounding foods—things we


can store for the winter. It’s not for everyone,” Arboreal said. With easy pick-up locations such as


the Holland Farmers Market and Kalamazoo Community Chiropractic, Arboreal says people can “commit to eating food that’s grown within their community and prepare that food at home.” If you are interested in share prices and other


information, contact Selleck at sandyflatsfarm. mi@gmail.com or Arboreal at contact@eaters- guild.com. n


Goat mom and kids at Lake Village Homestead Farm


Peach Ridge Farms 4350 Peach Ridge Ave., Grand Rapids $440/full share, $240/half share (616) 647-9043 According to owner/operator Todd Quick, Peach Ridge Farms is all about, “Clean, fresh produce from the field to the table. We pick it the day before you get it.” Quick focuses on the stuff you put on your table every day including beans, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes and onions. The farm also offers fruit such as peaches, plums, apples and nectarines. Pick up is at the farm between 3 to 7 p.m. on Mondays.


Lake Village Homestead Farm 7943 S. 25th St., Kalamazoo Memberships, animal owner shares, vegetable CSA shares; from $200 on up- depending on family needs lakevillagehomestead.org, (269) 808-2529 Please call first to set up a tour and for more information


Lake Village Homestead Farm is all about agriculture that supports community. Interested in fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs? What about goat milk shares, honey, maple syrup and cheese? The farm has it and specializes in lo- cally raised grass-fed beef, pastured hogs, eggs from free range chickens, environmental education, school-to-farm workshops and a community garden.


Groundswell Community Farm 6527 Quincy St., Zeeland $475/full share, $325/working share (3 hours of


work a week for 20 weeks), $325/food stamp share and sharing share (split with a low income family) groundswellfarm.org, (616) 916-9823


Trying to provide local, fresh organic produce as afford- ably as possible, Groundswell Community Farm thinks the CSA lifestyle is about “a connection to where your food comes from,” says Tom Cary, who runs the farm with Katie Brandt. Growing everything but sweet corn, and with two drop-off points in Holland and Grand Rapids, the farm also offers that famous line in the “Scarborough Fair” song — parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.


REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2012 | 45


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