The CSA Greens

by Megan M. on November 1, 2008 (Blog) |

Zom-B-Mart (1)

CSA” stands for community-supported agriculture. It means that you pay the farmer, and the farmer feeds you. No stores. No markets. No middle men.

I looked for CSA programs around Austin when I moved here, but I didn’t find any; I had the CSA “blues”. But I signed up with Greenling, discovered Wheatsville Co-op, and was quite content. Wheatsville is as close as I’ve gotten to a perfect grocery—they really care, and they’re exactly the right place for me to get almost everything I need. But I still wanted a CSA.

Zom-B-Mart (2)Johnson’s Backyard Garden, a little family farm not too far from me. To my utter astonishment, I found that they had a CSA program with great reviews. I leapt enthusiastically onto their waiting list! I didn’t know when (or if!) I would get in, and I didn’t care. Mad visions of vegetable prep parties danced in my head.

This week, I got into the program. I have been doing crazed jigs of glee. I had no idea it would happen so quickly. Oh, the vegetables I shall reap! If I’m not going to garden myself, I want to put my money in the hands of the people who grow my food. I want to know who they are. I want to interact with them, value them, trust them. And this is the first step that I can take towards that goal.

Zom-B-Mart (3)I don’t know how it will go yet. I haven’t even gotten my first share! But I know that this path resonates with me and I’m going to give it the fair chance it deserves. I’m tired of encountering this weird un-food mentality where we disconnect from the things we eat and have no concept of where it came from, or how it got to us. We’re told stories about food that have nothing to do with what the food really is, and I’m tired of participating—I’m choosing something else. Something a little (a lot) more real.

These vegetables will be harvested the same day I pick them up. That’s pretty damn real.

I get my first share on Wednesday. I’m insanely excited. About vegetables. I’m still going to shop at Wheatsville, because I adore them and want to support them (and the CSA will only provide part of our grocery needs). If you need organic produce delivered straight to your door, I’d go with Greenling. But if you can… support the farmer.

That’s what I’m trying next.

Absurdly entertaining zombie concept drawings courtesy of the great Martin Whitmore.



1 Kyeli 11.01.08 at 9:19 pm

HAHAHAHAHA!! The zombies are a brilliant edition O. M. Geeeeee! (;

2 Heather 11.01.08 at 9:45 pm

Johnson’s CSA is a local favorite & with good reason—very fresh & wonderful produce (tho, be aware, that not everything in your basket may originate from Johnson’s Farm—not that that’s nec. a big thing & they do have a real commitment to sustainable practices).

I’m a real fan of Greenling & I miss being S. enough to take advantage of Wheatsville.

& then there’s the Farmers Markets!

Austin is definite a great place to be a locavorian (we’re even starting to see more exotic treats like olives & citrus being grown locally! yay!)

3 Megan 11.01.08 at 10:54 pm

@Heather – I’m definitely discovering this! I do remember reading about Johnson’s getting some produce elsewhere, but it didn’t seem to be a large portion of the share (as far as I could tell) and their site really gave me a great feeling—so did their reviews, for that matter! Your comment makes me feel even BETTER about it. :D

Greenling has treated me stupendously; I recommend them at every applicable opportunity for folks who can really use organic delivery, because they’re a great company, even now that we’re not lined up the way we used to be (and that happens). I’ve enjoyed the farmer’s markets quite a bit too—the resources here are fantastic.

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