Sunday, May 24, 2009

oh please.

I read Alice in Wonderland, an article in the National Review Online by Julie Gunlock where she whines and complains about organic food being too blahblahblahwhinecry, and also she mercilessly mocks Alice Waters, a world-renowned chef and outspoken supporter of farmer's markets, the slow food movement and sustainable agriculture.

And guess what?  Julie Gunlock doesn't even have her own Wikipedia page, that's what.  That's how not seriously she should be taken.  Sure, I don't have my own Wikipedia page but I'm totally on that and have paid some kid from down the street fifty bucks to add me to Wiki either.

Snarkiness aside, or not, because I can't guarantee the I have my big girl pants on today, the article is so politically charged that is probably only has merit in the Big Agriculture Lobbyists break room, or possibly out back where the smokers hang out.

Let's introduce Ms. Gunlock to my friend, the CSA.

Community Supported Agriculture, this is Ms. Gunlock.

(This is where Ms. Gunlock squints up one eye and raises her eyebrow sort of bitchily and sticks out her pretty pretty princess hand.  And then CSA shakes her hand like a big boy and she feels slightly uncomfortable because her carpal tunnel from writing such decidedly mindless drivel is bothering her today.)

Community Supported Agriculture is a program, for lack of a better word, where you can buy a share of the farm.  What you get is fresh-picked produce, some CSAs offer meat, eggs and milk in addition to produce, for the duration of the growing season.

What, Ms. Gunlock?  You live in the city, no the suburbs?  Well you, too can join a CSA.  Many CSAs around the country offer delivery services to the non-farming areas.   My CSA is located between Buffalo and Rochester, and has drop-off sites in both cities.  In addition, some churches and neighborhood groups have joined together and carpool to pick up the week's produce at the farm.

And our CSA?  Costs less than $15 a week.  For organically grown produce.  I'm not even kidding you.  And some weeks?  We really have to work to eat all the veggies we are given.    

Sure, if the growing season was cut short, or if there was a drought, or flood, or other act of God, we wouldn't get as much food each week.  That's a chance you have to take with farming.


I know the farmer who grows the food I feed my family.  (His name is Mike.  Hi, Mike!)
I can ask him any question I have about how he grows my food, and he answers me.
I can even ask him for suggestions about my home garden, and he's happy to help.
I can walk through the fields where my food is growing.

Even with the new food labeling laws in place, I have no idea where in California the strawberries at the store come from.  I don't know who has touched them, or how many times they have been sprayed with pesticides.  People = live creatures.  Pesticides = killing live creatures Pesticides = bad.

I admit I do not feed my family organic products only.  Because sometimes eating organic is more expensive.  In my experience, organic is not always more expensive, in fact, there are instances where it is more affordable than non-organic.


If a person's only experience with purchasing organic foods is in Whole Foods, or in a specialty natural food store, or in the organic section of the local supermarket, they are most likely paying a lot of money.

Think outside the store.  Do a little research.

And for flip's sake.  Do not mock people who believe that it's important to talk about where our food comes from.*  There are people who have never seen a farm.  There are people who have only ever been to the grocery store and have never considered all the work it took to get that food into the store.  

And also for flip's sake.  Check out Local Harvest to find a CSA in your community.  For all you locals, join Porter Farms.  You can thank me later.

*Instead, make fun of whiny people.


  1. Oh dear... (looks guiltily at unknown sourced fruit salad she made). I washed everything! I promise!

  2. I (embarrassingly) admit I did not realize what CSA meant. (I thought it was exclusive to farmers.) There is a local farm on my way to work that has a sign for CSA - I am SO THERE!


  3. Until a couple of years ago, I had no idea what CSA meant, and also no idea that there were any in my area. I was eavesdropping at the Farmers' Market one day and then butted into the conversation. I'm so glad I did!

  4. In my house growing up, CSA meant Confederate States of America.

  5. I just got back from checking the garden. The corn is up. So are the radishes and kohlrabi!

  6. This is good info. Thanks, lady.

  7. We have a farmer's market every Saturday, right down the street from us. We also have a half share from a CSA farm, and I look forward to my first strawberries from them.

    I'm not even going to bother clicking on Ms. Gunlock's article, as it's THE NATONAL REVIEW, and meh, I don't like them. Also, I think it's funny that someone who is probably a conservative has a name like Gunlock. Probably didn't go over well in Young Republican circles.

    But then again, I am a total partisan hack, albeit one who loves her CSA farm share. Woot!

  8. Thanks for the information! I am always looking for ways to 1-cut my grocery budget and 2-feed my kids healthier options. I'm one of those people who've never heard of that so now I know I have options! Thanks Pam!

  9. I live in an area that is surrounded by farms and yet I had never heard of CSA's before. Lo and behold there is one that delivers to my area. Thanks for the tip! Also, your strawberries likely came from the fields near my house. Or maybe Salinas but that's nowhere near here.

  10. I love CSAs - we've just started with a food box program and are getting wonderful stuff from a farm near us. We pay twice what you are paying, but the stuff we got last week was definitely worth it, and ours operates year round! We live in a Canadian city not known for its farms (Ottawa) and were spoiled for choice - there's even an urban version run by a guy who is using unused land right in the city to create organic vegetable gardens.


talk to me, people. because you know i get all giddy when you do.