Wednesday, September 30, 2009


First, an apology: whoa, I haven't posted in a while! For those of you who don't read my personal blog, I have a pretty good excuse--we welcomed our 3rd child five weeks ago. As I'm sure none of you are shocked to hear, not much imaginative cooking is getting done in our house. We've been eating a lot of salads (and sandwiches and bowls of cereal!). Don't worry, I have been doing some cooking, relying on tried-and-true recipes, like Jules' sausage kale soup, roasted garbanzo beans with swiss chard, and of course chocolate zucchini cake!

The other big exciting change in our lives is that we moved (4 days before lil' Z-man was born, but that's a whole 'nother story!). It's been great, except one thing: we're really too far away from our CSA at our new house. We've belonged to Waltham Fields Community Farm for the past two years, and I can't even tell you how awesome it's been. I absolutely love, love, love them! But now it takes nearly an hour to get there, sometimes more like an hour and a half if I'm fighting rush hour traffic. They've pushed up their renewals from January to October (now!!), so I was forced to make a decision with heavy heart not to renew our share.

So now I have to decide what to do for next summer. I'm looking into CSAs in the Nashoba Valley area (basically, anywhere kind of near 495 between Rte 3 and Rte 2, or even southern New Hampshire in the general vicinity of Nashua). I've been looking at Bear Hill Farm (Lisa, I hope you'll chime in!), and Dragonfly Farm, plus a few others I saw on Local Harvest. Anyone have any recommendations for me?

Alternately, I could just plan to shop the farmers' markets next summer. That supports local farms as well and may work better with the little man's nap schedule (whatever that ends up being!) than a shorter pickup window with a CSA. Plus, there's generally a wider selection at farmers' markets...things like bread, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, and fruit. I don't know, though; I really like the set up of a CSA.

It might be moot. I might pick a CSA and end up waitlisted for next summer anyway. But now's the time to start thinking.

Anyway, any opinions would be welcome, and I should be back with recipes soon!


  1. Welcome back; it's good to see you! In all the hub-bub surrounding your move and Z-man's delivery, I never stopped to think there might be a "CSA dilemna".

    You might find some useful info here - :)

    I really, really like the relationship aspect of belonging to a CSA. Plus the fact that H-man gets to actually SEE where his food comes from. And some CSA's offer more then just produce - we can purchase eggs, yogurt, pork, beef, chicken, maple syrup and various other local products for an additional fee. I'd definitely pose that question as you make inquiries down the road.

    In the end, I think this is a personal decision. You have to do what works for you and your family at that particular point in time. Sometimes that means belonging to a CSA PLUS shopping at the farmers' market PLUS picking up extras from the local farm stands AND visiting pick-your-own farms ;).

  2. Hey, WhatACard, good to have ya back. An interesting dilemma--moving your CSA as well as your house. Well, I do like Bear Hill, have for the last few years, but of course I like the proximity! (I'm in Chelmsford and they're in Tyngsboro.) Our first year, I think it was 5 years ago, we belonged to Kirk Farm in Groton. They are awfully nice, but it was a bit of a drive for us at the time. I don't know about 2009, but I do know in 2008 they had a very bad year, quantity-wise.
    Like Julie, I do like the relationship one has with one's farmer at a CSA, plus the kids get to see that potatoes grow in the ground and tomatoes grow on a vine. We also are able to visit the pigs that later become our pork chops (some people are WAY more squeamish about this aspect than others) and thank the chickens for their eggs.
    If you end up not joining a CSA for '10, I think you still will be in good shape, as you'll be able to visit the Westford, Chelmsford, Bedford, Lexington, and other area farmers' markets; some pretty good farm stands in the area; Shaw's Dairy in Dracut; Chip-In for eggs; and Parlee's in Tyngsboro and those other fruit places in Hollis, NH for fruit. You'll be doing some driving, but you'll also be learning your way around your new stomping grounds.
    As far as the nap schedule goes, I think you'll find that you're dragging Z-Man out whether he's napping or not, figuring he can nap in the car if needed. I know I was really solicitous of The Boy's nap schedule (first kid) and then when The Girl came along she pretty much napped "on the go."