Friday, July 9, 2010

Farm Fresh and Wonderful

Imagine tonight's dinner salad -- lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a little dried basil sprinkled on the top.  The ingredients come from who-knows-where, have been sprayed with who-knows-what, and likely taste waterlogged and/or a bit like cardboard.

Now re-think that salad with fresh, organic, never-been-sprayed deep green, leafy lettuce, luscious tomato slices, ripe and juicy, crisp cucumber, sugar snap peas (a tasty bonus) and a little fresh basil.  Let's take it one step further.  Imagine that you've just picked up the vegetables from the very farm that grew them, or you had them delivered right to your door by the local farm.

Let me introduce you to a couple of farms that could make your dream salad come true.

At Arlington's Garden Treasures, on SR530 just east of the Island Crossing exit off I-5, you can purchase a share in their CSA* program.  Each shareholder receives a box of produce each week, from mid-June through Thanksgiving weekend.  That's 24 weeks of fresh produce (mostly vegetables) grown on their own farm.  Pick-up day is Thursday, and shareholders stop by the farm to select their items for the week.

Would you rather have your box dropped off at your home?  Klesick Family Farm in Stanwood offers year-round home delivery from Anacortes to Monroe and Bothell, from Mt Vernon to Mountlake Terrace.  Much of their food is grown in the northwest, some on their own farm; with rare exceptions, all is organic.

Each of these farms offers a variety of box sizes, depending upon your family's size and preference.   Klesick boxes are made up for you based on the foods they are featuring that week.  With Garden Treasures, you choose what goes into your box from a list of recommendations on pick-up day.  Both farms provide a newsletter complete with produce information and a recipe. Their prices are comparable and their commitment to quality is high.

Check out their websites: Garden Treasures and Klesick Family Farms.  It just could be that by this time next week you will be sitting down to that dream salad, brought to you by your local organic farmers!

Here's one more resource for you.  The 2010 Puget Sound Farm Guide lists farms, farmers markets, CSAs and u-picks throughout the Puget Sound region.  You can check them out here.

*According to over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

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