Ever since reading The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball a few months ago, I have been fascinated by the idea of a whole-diet CSA: a farm partnership in which one regional farm fulfills all of your family's dietary needs for an entire year with fresh, organic foods ranging from seasonal vegetables to pastured meats and eggs, to raw milk, grains and legumes. I wondered if such a farm existed as brilliantly in real life as it sounded on paper. It turns out, it does.
The whole-diet CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model, sometimes called whole-farm CSAs or full-diet CSAs, is rapidly expanding across the country, propelled by surging demand from consumers who are disillusioned by industrialized, chemical-laden foods and who want to regain control of their food sources. Over the past several weeks, I have written about my summer challenge to "give up the grocery store" and buy all of my family's food direct from farms, farmers' markets, and farm collaboratives. The discovery of a year-round, whole-diet CSA farm in my area is the logical next step to ensuring a continuous supply of organic, nutrient-dense, ecologically sustainable foods for my family.
Today we took a ride to the bucolic central part of our state to visit this agriculturally diverse, biodynamic farm that promises to feed our family the majority of its food over the coming year. We visited with the 100% grass-fed cows whose milk is unlike any I've ever tasted. We watched the piglets endlessly desiring to nurse and their mama shooing them away for a peaceful moment in the mud once in a while (it turns out we all need a break when our nurslings get too demanding!) We walked the pasture with the chickens, visited the newborn calves, and savored the piles of freshly harvested vegetables that, along with pastured meats and dairy, will form the foundation of our weekly meals.
We will continue with our other local farm partnerships and ample farmers' market fare to round out our food sources, but partnering with one lovely farm for the majority of our family's meals feels good, right, and oh so needed in this time when most American food spends more time in factories than farms.