This just in from The Green Guide:
The Johnsons are high school sweethearts…Their 20-acre farm is located just east of downtown Austin near the Colorado River. The soil is "very deep and fertile" and Brenton says proudly that it is "some of the best land around for farming." This January is the first harvest season for the Johnsons on their new farm.
The started by selling the produce that they grew in their 3,000 square foot backyard garden. At the time they lived very near the Austin Farmers Market, and would harvest fresh lettuce, tomatoes, basil, peppers and herbs and a few minutes later be selling it in the market….
Now, what’s not to like about a couple of high school sweethearts selling organic produce out of their backyard? And what is it about Austin that inspires such behavior?
The Johnsons run a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm in Austin, and if you’re not familiar with the concept, maybe 2007 is the year to give it a try. You pay a subscription fee up front and get a share of the farm’s harvest. That way, the farmer gets some cash early in the season rather than having to wait until the harvest, and you get to eat farm-fresh, seasonal veggies and look the people who grew them right in the eye.
I belonged to a CSA for many years, and learned so much from the experience of eating seasonally–and from eating whatever the farm was able to produce that week! The question wasn’t, "What do you want for dinner?" Instead, it was, "We’ve got potatoes, leeks, and green onions. What should we make?" You share in both the farmer’s risks and rewards: there might be no strawberries one year, but a surplus of tomatoes. If cabbage lopers ate holes in the cabbage, they’ll stick a note in your box explaining the situation. This is farming, folks!
Has anyone else joined a CSA? If you’re looking for one in your area, start here.