Sunday, January 24, 2010

Smitten and Spoiled

Those of you who have been following this blog since the beginning are quite aware of how smitten I am with our CSA Farm. I love everything about belonging to a CSA - farm to table food (some of which we get to pick ourselves!), the opportunity to show my young son EXACTLY where his food comes from, developing a real relationship with the farmers that in essence are present at our table every day (I could go on and on).

Yes, indeed, we become a wee bit spoiled during the traditional growing season here in Western, MA when fresh, local produce (and a large variety of it) is readily available. But, all good things must come to an end, and eventually even the storage crops begin to dwindle. I knew this was going to be a tough transition for me (and my family).

To their credit, our local Big Y is committed to supporting local farms and food producers and labels these selections accordingly, making it relatively easy to continue purchasing local staples, but it's the fresh, local produce I really missed. Enter Berkshire Organics. Once again, I am smitten. My only regret is that this business wasn't my brainchild (though I'm eternally grateful to Aleisha for conceiving and ultimately giving birth to this convenient and affordable service).

For the past couple of months, we've been the proud (and happy) recipients of the Berkshire Basket. Since Berkshire Organics is "right down the road" from my daycare provider, I've opted to pick our basket up (vs. having it delivered) and we manage to stretch our basket out over the course of two weeks (with supplements from our freezer, root cellar and I'll be honest...the grocer). I LOVE the fact that Berkshire Organics' goal is to help reduce the distance from the farm to our table (sound familiar). They work with a number of farms within a 50-mile radius as well as an organic supplier who shares their vision by purchasing produce as close to New England as possible. The produce is fantastic and the variety (and flexibility) is great too! They let you know ahead of time what's in that weeks' basket and if there's something you don't like you can email them to request a substitution from a list of items that are available.

As we move into February and each day brings us a little closer to spring, the distance our food travels will begin to diminish. Before you know it we'll once again be basking in the warmth that Holiday Brook Farm brings to so many ways.

I am extremely grateful for the local food options available to us here in the Berkshires. For those of you who try to eat locally when you can, what do YOU do during the "off season"?

Bon Appetit!

Note: New England Bloggers are celebrating their one-year anniversary this week. To celebrate, Elizabeth - host(ess) of NEB has organized a carnival of posts that relate to our wonderful region. Please stop by to see the celebratory blog posts - and don't forget to say "hi"!


  1. No off season in North Carolina! There is always some kind of produce that grows here, at the very least, we have sweet potatoes ALL THE TIME.

  2. Lucky Julie! (Even luckier Laura!) I, alas, don't live anywhere near a winter CSA. I DO visit the farm stands that are open in winter as much as I can; they make an effort to stock as much local stuff as they can. And of course, I use what I've canned and frozen during the season-which would work out better if I took time to can and freeze more. Oh, well, as I say every season, NEXT YEAR. Meanwhile, thanks for spreading word......

  3. Adding another JEALOUS to the chorus, both you and Laura! Looks wonderful!

  4. I don't have any options like this either in the winter. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I can't eat a lot of vegetables because of my digestion, so I do OK with frozen in the winter.
    Julie, could you add a link to the birthday post so your readers can find the other NEB posts?

  5. I keep saying I'm going to join a coop. Maybe this will be the year.

  6. I have a couple of farmers markets not too far away that I can visit during the winter, but it's not easy to eat as locally as I'd like to in winter. I'm jealous of your Berkshire Basket!

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