Our agency decided to sponsor a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative this year, using our office as the drop off site for our chosen CSA, The Women’s Environmental Institute . When we started socializing the idea around the agency this winter, we weren’t sure what the reaction would be. Agency types are not known for their organic eating habits (picture flash developers with Cheetos stains on their fingers gulping Mountain Dew) and frankly, buying CSA shares (in cash, in advance) isn’t inexpensive. Somewhat surprisingly, we’ve had 20% of our team participate.
Here’s the drill. Every Monday, the CSA sends each of us an email update on what’s going on at the farm (rain, bugs, mud in the fields), along with a list of produce that will be delivered that week. We are then able to check out recipes (or Wikipedia in the case of things like garlic scapes) which we discuss and share in anticipation of the delivery.
Thursday morning is delivery time, and the atmosphere is like Christmas morning with kids hanging on the stairs waiting to descend on the treasure trove under the tree. The boxes of produce are stacked, and green lettuces and spring onions peek out of their recyclable/compostable containers. Then the boxes are opened, and the treasures unloaded, with much discussion around the appearance, aroma, and soon-to-be-delectable tastes we’d be enjoying. During the week, hallway discussions revolve around the relative superiority of the braised cabbage with rosemary and pancetta versus the baked broccoli with pine nuts.
After just a few deliveries, the overall consensus is that the quality, taste and selection of the produce is superb; the camaraderie of the “share members” has been interesting to watch; a heightened awareness of food and its quality and sourcing is underscored for all of us; and the agency benefits financially (lower insurance costs by providing access to nutritional foods), and culturally (creating a “cool and fun” aura around the entire experience) - with apologies to Kurt Vonnegut for the semicolons.