Getting to know our farmers! – Organic vegetable baskets

For the last 5 years, my hubby and I have been learning how to grow our own food. It has been a process of trial and error, some years yielding close to nothing and some years, we are begging people to take some home! There are quite a few things that we haven’t quite figured out yet and succession plantings to prolong harvest and not having everything ready at the same time is definitely one of them!

So every year, we have a heavy start to the season, then a lull, then a heavy mid-to-late summer showing, then slim pickings. We are slowly getting the hang of it, but not so much so that we would bet our livelihood on it yet. And with two young children, fresh organic veggies is even more important than ever.

That is why we team up with one of our local organic farmers to receive an organic basket every week. For what I consider to be a ridiculously low fee (about 400$ for a family of 4), we will be picking up a weekly basket of seasonal organic goods from late June to mid-November! 20 weeks total. That is 20$ a week and the drop point is less than 5 minutes drive from our home.

Just to give you an idea, this was our 4th basket (we picked it up today).

IMG_7659

 

** As you can tell, half of the cherry tomatoes didn’t make it home! **

To mirror my friend Kim’s post about “Life lessons”, one of the reasons why it’s so important for me to participate in programs like this and to go to farmer’s markets and local farms is for my kids to know where their food comes from. I remember once watching a documentary where grade school kids (8 and 9 years old) were asked where their food came from. All of them answered “the grocery store”. I wasn’t a mom then, but I had started on the 100-mile diet challenge and I had promised myself never in my home!

So, although we do still buy food from the grocery store, my daughter (and my son one day) can tell you what organic is, she can tell you what a GMO is (in her little 4yo way), why we try to buy local year round and what grows from the earth. We have 2 farms close by that supply us with eggs and every time we stop by, she steps out of the car and goes to thank the chickens for feeding us. She also knows how to recognize happy chickens and will tell us if she is suspicious of mistreatment. (We had one farm we visited where the chickens were kept inside… my daughter didn’t like that at all.)

And every time we pick up our organic baskets, she runs to the stall singing “I’m so excited!”… The farmer that greets us knows us by name. She hands him back the bags and cardboard crates from the previous week and proceeds to happily pick her favorite veggies and put them in our bag. And before leaving, she always turns to our new friend and thanks him, already excited about coming back in one week.

This, among many other things, will define me in my role as a mother. This knowledge of the world and how we are all one big interconnected web of life. We all have different values, and we try so hard to instill them in our children. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… but all we can do is to keep trying and hope that our voice and intentions are stored somewhere, ready to be brought up one day. But what they learn will stay learned. No matter how they choose to live, the information is there for them to use. And that will have to be alright for now.

Good night everyone…

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About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
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12 Responses to Getting to know our farmers! – Organic vegetable baskets

  1. Thanks for the shout out my friend 🙂 We gave up our CSA baskets about three years ago now. The last summer we did it we found we had way too much with everything growing in the garden and our little trips to the market. We enjoyed the trips to the farm, and still visit just to say hi sometimes.

    Enjoy the goodies in your basket.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      You are welcome!

      I figure, year after year, if we get to a point where the basket and our production becomes too much, we freeze and can. Our first baskets were filled with more greens than we could eat : We officially have bags of frozen bok choy, chards, kale and spinach ready for fall stir fries! 🙂

      We are hoping to get to that point where we don’t need to anymore, but I think we are a few years away. 🙂

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  2. Janet says:

    We tried a CSA but only received greens. It got pretty boring after a bit and my family did not really like what we were receiving 😦

    I like your thoughts on trying to teach your children and to hold onto the values taught. You never know what will stick but I hold tight to God and trust His love for them. When you have adult children you lose the ability to guide on an every day capacity so instill when they are young…..and pray.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Exactly… It’s all you really can do! I know that a lot of the things my parents tried to pass on to me still resonate in me now.

      In our minimalist efforts, I know there will be probably times when they feel like we are depriving them. Their friends will have more toys, more gadgets, more clothes… But I’m trying to create a world of experiences, not things. I’m hoping in the long run, they will come to understand that.

      And sorry your CSA experience wasn’t the best… 😦 That’s too bad. The farmers that participate here have to offer a variety… they are managed by a provincial organization that insures they supply a wide variety of foods. Also, we could sneak peeks at last year’s bounty, to give us an idea of what they grow. 🙂

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  3. Good morning. This is our first year in a CSA. They have different delivery points and ours is at the nearest food pantry. Members pick the food they want (with their limits — one bag of broccoli, or whatever). Whatever is left at the end of delivery is donated to the food pantry. We’re about a month into it now. The first weeks were overwhelmingly salad greens, much more than we could eat. ONE head of lettuce and some kale works fine. Three heads of lettuce and kale besides does not. We also have lots of onions, which I know you don’t eat. But I use onions in cooking and we’ve chopped up several already for the freezer.

    I’m not sure we’ll decide to do this again. But it’s one more thing we’re exploring this year, in a year of very deliberate exploration.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      How many weeks does your CSA run? We get a chance to explore the length of our growing season here (until mid-November) and it has been such a great adventure into seasonal eating. The first few weeks, as we were getting primarily greens and herbs, I kept telling myself “100 years ago, people ate what they had and that was it!”… brought me back to a grateful heart. I know that come fall, it will be a lot of potatoes, carrots, beets and cabbages… but that is what grows. Not always easy to figure out meals, but I’ve been searching for ingredient-inspired recipes. It’s been fun! Hopefully you’ll get more inspired with the baskets and you’ll decide to do it again. But I do agree, there is just so much salad a person can eat! LOL!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing.

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      • I’m actually not sure how long it runs. My husband signed us up and … I just didn’t look into it very deeply!

        We got 3 lovely squashes and a huge bunch broccoli yesterday, as well as a few other things.

        One nice thing is that we have tried a few things we never did before. I assume that will continue to be the case.

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      • Yanic A. says:

        Indeed… we got a yellow cucumber yesterday! heirloom and endangered variety that is being brought back. We haven’t tried it yet. Most likely tonight. If we like it, I might try saving seeds and starting my own next year! I’m all about rare seed preservation. 🙂

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  4. sophiezest says:

    I love what you are trying to teach your children about food and where it comes from. We were fortunate enough this week to be given a pot of honey from the two hives at the community vegetable garden where my husband volunteers. My son is fascinated by bees and knows all about nectar and pollen.
    When we lived in the UK, we received a weekly organic vegbox. It was pretty varied (because the suppliers also imported organic fruit; the UK doesn’t produce enough to meet demand) but still the veg (not the fruit) was all seasonal, and we had some challenging weeks. How bored I got of cabbage! As you say, though, in the past people didn’t have a choice. They had to make do with what they got at a certain time of year. To be honest, out-of-season strawberries or tomatoes don’t have much taste anyway.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Oh how I agree! We buy in bulk during growing season and freeze and can. I cannot palate off season greenhouse berries and such. They just don’t really taste like anything.

      Mmmm… local honey! I think we’ve created a bit of a snob when it comes to honey. LOL! The other day, we went to someone’s home for brunch and when she tried the pasteurized grocery shelf honey, she looked at me and said she thought the honey wasn’t good anymore! LOL!

      And great for you for teaching your kids about bees instead of just telling them “they sting”… I think most kids are scared of insects because they are only thought to fear them!

      Thank you so much for sharing xo

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  5. Beautiful, organic, colorful vegetables! There is nothing like to make you feel grateful and healthy than a bowl of fresh organic salad 🙂

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