Consider the local farm

A joyous event happened at our house last week: We got a letter from our CSA announcing the start of the new season!

Actual veggie pickups won’t start until sometime in May, I’m guessing (though last year we did get a bunch of asparagus in April that was, and I am not exaggerating, transcendent). But now’s the time to officially sign up, and there’s no check I’ll enjoy writing more.

Ours is a small Nelson County CSA that doesn’t court publicity too much, but the bigger ones like Appalachia Star, Roundabout and Ploughshares will be signing up members over the next few months too. If you haven’t done the CSA thing in the past, you should seriously think about it this year. You’ll save money, you’ll eat better, and (once again, I am not exaggerating) you’ll feel happier.

Also, you’ll be doing a good deed. We’ve had a bad news week for local farms. Albemarle’s lost 8 percent of its farmland over the last five years, according to the Progress. Not all of that was instantly replaced by McMansions, but still. Meanwhile, the Local Food Hub project took a blow from the county supes, meaning it’ll be that much tougher to establish a centralized spot where farmers can store, process and distribute their stuff. And so, all things considered, the people who bring us our food will continue to face tough economic odds.

Let’s pony up, by joining CSAs, shopping the farmer’s market, or both. But don’t take it from me. Take it from this. And chime in, please. Who’s a CSA member? A City Market diehard? What’s your favorite local farm, foodies?

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