We firmly believe in quality over quantity when it comes to vegetables in our CSA (but we sure don’t skimp either - check out a full season of deliveries here). While people like to see the massive heaping box – we have heard people be more impressed with the taste and variety of what’s in the box. We have also been told that’s not always the case with other CSA’s.
Our CSA is a carefully crafted balance of proven modern breeds and classically delicious heirlooms. Each year the selection changes to provide original and terrific tastes that may not have been in the previous year. We also strive to introduce members to new vegetables that they may not have tried before. Want to know more about how our CSA works – follow this link.
Aren’t all vegetables created equal?
Let’s be brutally honest – nature rarely creates anything “equally”. There is almost always a trade off; vigor vs. flavor, quantity vs. quality, disease resistance vs. plant size… almost always these and hundreds of other factors naturally balance each other in subtle ways. When it comes to farming, all too often the choice is made for quantity over quality, durability for shipping over delicate textures… you get the factory farm picture.
We try very hard to balance both on our farm. Our selection of plantings each year is a combination. Like most farms we use proven hybrid breeds that offer disease resistance and does the best to ensure there will be something available each week. We also have specific heirloom breeds that offer some of the most impressive and delightful tastes, textures and colors you have ever seen. These are breeds recognized by the Slow Food movement’s Ark of Taste.
Do you grow any GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) crops?
No – none – never will.
Is a hybrid a GMO?
No. A hybrid is the all-natural offspring (seed) produced by breeding of two parent plants with desirable traits. The resultant “child” is called an F1 hybrid. It’s a very good plant typically with good traits from both parents but none of it’s seeds will produce plants of value… that’s why it’s important to keep the parent stock around. Some of those parent stocks are referred to as heirlooms or heritage breeds.
What’s an heirloom?
Heirloom is a name attached to really old breeds of different vegetables that have some amazing characteristics but often pay for that in other ways. A great example of this tradeoff are heirloom tomatoes. Their flavor and texture are unmatched by F1 hybrids BUT they are usually not resistant to disease, often produce fewer fruits, are more delicate for storage an transport, and may have other challenges in growing them.
Where else can I get some heirlooms?
Consider this – If you walk the aisles of even the best produce sections of local stores you will not find a multitude of heirloom varieties. Trust me when I say it’s not because the grocer isn’t interested in selling delicious, fancy, expensive vegitables. Instead it’s because, by in large, most heirloom vegitables are too delicate to pick, pack, store and ship. If they tried to replace the head of iceberg lettuce in the store with a nice head of heirloom (Ark of Taste) Speckled lettuce – by the time it got to your produce department it would look more “blob” and less “lettuce”.
So we had to make some hard choices and like just about every one of our endeavors here – quality won out over quantity. Now we certainly don’t disparage any of the larger area CSA’s that offer massive quantities of seasonal veggies – quite the contrary, we are super happy for them and fully support their efforts… we are just different. With a focus on many different heirloom varieties we really try to introduce people to tastes and flavors they may not have encountered before.
Still interested – have you seen some of the share photos here?