It’s about time, as far as I (Rachel) am concerned, that we explain to you what that heck it is that we’re doing at Psalter Farm. There are lots of questions floating around as to why we have fifty chicks (or tween chickens to be more accurate) in our garage. Questions that are difficult to answer at the nurses’ station during the few-and-far-between moments that we’re not wrestling the combative patient in Bed #12 or passing out warm blankets.
Are we one of those pet hoarders that you see on TV? Maybe. Do we feel crazy at times and a little weird? Every day. Are we trying to be self-sustaining and produce as much of our own food as possible? That’s where this began. Is this a step in trying to discern our future and whether or not it will one day entail owning a few acres and making this a way of life (where there will be orchards, goats, roosters, turkeys and maybe even a milk cow!)? Definitely. Has this become a way for us to live out and into our faith? Yes.
All these things are true. But the direction this entire endeavor is going, and it is a work in process, is in the start of a small CSA. Do you know what a CSA is?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Traditionally members of a CSA buy a “share” in the farm and receive a farm box every week or two of seasonal vegetables, or in our case…eggs and veggies! Hence the fifty tween chickens that really need to get out of our garage.
Here are some aspects of a CSA we love (much of these we’ve learned from the experience of being a part of one here in SD):
-You learn to eat in season…most people don’t know that cucumbers, zucchini, corn, and tomatoes, even in San Diego, can only be grown in the summer. But man are they good and totally worth the mouth-watering wait!
-You’re eating ultra fresh food that in most cases has been picked that very day! Which means it tastes way better and is better for you (the available nutrients in fruits and vegetables are depleted during the 5,000 some odd gas guzzlin miles from Chile where it is picked way before it is even ripe).
-You know for a fact where your food is coming from. There are no lingering questions, doubts, or concerns, because you know the farmer and you’ve visited, and maybe even picked some weeds or shoveled some dirt, on the farm where your food is coming from.
-You expand your palate and learn (and your kids learn!) to eat and cook with food that they you normally wouldn’t. Even if you’re shopping at a local farmers market for your fruits and vegetables, you typically don’t pick foods you’re not familiar with. With a CSA you get what you get that week. Meal planning made easy!
-There is a shared community, a “we’re in this together” mentality among CSA members. If the peppers get destroyed by aphids, we’ll be mourning the loss together. If we planted way too many tomatoes, well, a canning party is in order. We want this to be your farm too.
There are so many details to still to be worked out, including prices, the date we’ll be ready to begin distribution, how many shares to make available, home delivery or not, and most importantly a harvest party at our place for all of our CSA family! There are chicken coops to be built, half of the land still to plant, irrigation systems to install, and bees to obtain. Nonetheless, we are so excited and appreciate you embarking on this journey with us.
I wish I could put into words what this has meant to Chris and I. It has brought us so much joy to watch things grow; the miracle of life. Spotting the first feathers on a baby chick. Chickens taking dirt baths and chasing strawberries. A seed emerging from the ground and only weeks later, from one small seed, an entire harvest. Digging for and then discovering the first, new potatoes. The satisfaction from eating entire meals made up of food that our hands have grown. Learning about bees- the complex hierarchy, their advanced pheromone communication system, and their role in pollination. So much beauty. We are so caught up in it. We can’t wait to share all of this, and so much more, with you.