Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Aside #19: Community Supported Agriculture Winter Baskets Update

December 2011

Community Supported Agriculture baskets.  

The baskets continue to roll on in, although sporadically.  Poor old Bryson's Farms  my CSA of choice as they deliver year-round, had a terrible December.  I deliberated cancelling until next summer and will make that decision before the next basket in two weeks.

It's a two-person basket I get every two weeks.  The content varies and isn't signalled in advance nor can I choose what I want... but it tends to have a variety of organic, farm freshly picked (greenhouse in some cases) produce, with selections of swiss chard, lettuce, mustard greens, parsnips, daikon radish, peppers, potatoes, garlic, red onion, portobello mushrooms and heirloom carrots.... all delicious.

Two-person baskets are as small as they will home deliver.  I find it a challenge to cook, bake, consume or freeze properly within a two-week period when it's primarily me who consumes the produce.  I sneak the odd vegey or salad past the Husband but it's rare.... he catches on fast.

But my veggie woes are nothing compared to those of Bryson's.  In law November, I put one basket on hold ie., wait a week, as I was over-veggied.  Their data system can't seem to cope with that and I got lost in limbo for about a month before the next delivery.  I noticed a snarky-ish note on their website saying they want only regular clients and will stop deliveries if there are too many starts and stops of delivery.  Oh well... strike 1 for flexibility in an otherwise flawless model.

Part of the reason I may have been lost in data limbo was also due to a series of negative CBC TV stories that ran in early December (around the 10th I think) focussing on pesticide residue on 'organic' produce.  The story was general and the main point seemed to be that no matter how 'organic' the claims, there is so much pesticide residue in our soil and nature that it is impossible to be truly 'organic'.  Fair point.  But CBC of course picked a farm to focus on and chose Bryson's as its case in point.  They had to scurry about with Statements and explanations of the science... and I'm sure with much angst and consternation.  

Then, just at Christmas, there was a series of crashes on Quebec roads, the most serious of which claimed a man and a his son.  The man, it turned out, was a driver for Bryson's home delivery.  There's nothing on the website acknowledging this employee but the papers were explicit.  Anyway... not a good month for them.  Hope 2012 is better.

Back to the basket.  It was a welcome delivery on a snowy day this week and Husband and I struggled through shovelling a LOT of heavy, wet snow, with a snow blower not working and neighbours away.  Why we don't contract out our shovelling is a mystery to me... it would relieve a lot of stress.  

Ahh.... well... back to cooking.


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