|Strawberry picking last summer|
The sun was shining and all the kids (five of them under the age of two) had fallen out of cars at Ambrose Family Farms, excited by the wide expanse of dirt in front of them. I handed Julia a white bucket lined with a plastic grocery bag and lead her to a row of low bushes speckled with ripe, red strawberries. Julia fell on berry after berry, picking one for her bucket, eating the next one with dirt covered hands. She ate strawberries like she had never tasted anything so sweet, anything so delicious. And you know, I think maybe she hadn’t.
Today I purchased a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share from Ambrose Family Farms on Wadmalaw Island, near Charleston, South Carolina. Starting the next week, I will pick up a weekly portion of vegetables and eggs that come straight from the farm to my family’s dinner table. The veggies are seasonable and fresh and local. I know it sounds like this is a kindness to me and my family, but in purchasing my vegetable share, I’m supporting local farming, the local economy, and the environment. I love this quote by Reggie Hall, the Farm Burearu’s director of communications, from South Carolina Farmer magazine, “It’s a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the land either legally or spiritually becomes the community’s farm. Together, growers and consumers provide mutual support and share the risks as well as the benefits of food production.” So yes, I will reap the rewards from today’s act of kindness, but so does Ambrose Family Farms and so do the other members of my community who think fresh, local vegetables are important.
And consider this a first step. April’s 30 Days will be dedicated to eating locally. So tell me, do you make it a point to buy local veggies and fruits? What about meats or dairy products? Do you grow your own?