Now that Old Man Winter is gone and spring, errr, summer is upon us in DC (high of 90 degrees today? Really Mother Nature?), it’s time to start thinking about outdoor activities. Weekend BBQs are at the top of my list of things to enjoy now that the weather is warm. And this year, my food will be local. I don’t mean local as in from the grocery store 2 blocks away. I mean local in the true sense of the word…fresh food grown less than 50 miles from where I live.
There are a few options if you are looking for fresh, locally-grown food. Local Harvest has a comprehensive list of CSAs, by location. A CSA (community-supported agriculture) is a community that supports a specific farm, and you get a set of the “share” each week. You typically pick up your share from a predetermined location, although some are starting to offer home delivery.
While I have personally never participated in a CSA, I’ve done some research and have decided to go with Bull Run Mountain Farm this year. I like that they have multiple delivery locations and they have a variety of recipes on their website to try out. They (as well as many others) are still accepting members for the 2010 season.
The USDA also has a great list of resources if you choose to go the CSA route.
Farm clubs are also becoming popular. These seem to be popular because it’s nearly identical to shopping your local grocery store online. You pick the food you want, and it’s delivered right to your door. Unlike the potluck-style of CSAs, with a farm club you have more choices, and some would argue, less waste.
If you are a member of a CSA or farm club, please share your recommendations with your neighbors. It’s time we started eating better – just ask Jamie Oliver.