Assistant Manager, Erin here. Brittany gave me the honor of writing this week’s CSA email. Today (Sunday) was hot… I spent the morning harvesting zucchini, squash, cucumber, and sunflowers—crops that are time sensitive and want to be harvested at just the right size. Now, I sit here gratefully in my well-air conditioned house enjoying an oversized bowl of ice cream.
Here is this week’s bounty:
Zucchini/squash — great for 4th of July grilling or try something new like this list of unique and tasty recipes
And choices including
As we approach the July 4th holiday, we prepare to grill our veggies and enjoy time with friends and family. Many of us will reflect on what it means to be American. We reflect on American values—freedom, democracy, diversity to name a few. All of which are values also prevalent in our relationship with food. There is perhaps nothing more American than home-grown food.
America was built on a strong agricultural economy. Our founding father, Thomas Jefferson deemed agriculture as “the wisest pursuit because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness” and “one of the four pillars of prosperity.” Additionally, some of the first accounts of effective cross-cultural communication between our indigenous people and the European immigrants we call pilgrims was centered around the growing of food.
Historically, sharing food brings people together, it is both a universal language and culturally diverse. Today, the food we eat is representative of our multi-cultural population. I can accessibly eat huevos rancheros for breakfast, curry stir fry for lunch, and a cheeseburger (my all-time favorite despite my vegetarian status) for dinner.
When we buy locally grown food, we support our regional and local economies, we support the cultivation of polycultural farms, we buy from farms that employ skilled workers earning a living wage, and we protect our precious American land. So again, what is more American than home-grown food?
While I try to remain positive in this post, I can’t help but also express my concern for the future of America’s food system. Unfortunately, we are straying away from our historic localized agricultural economy and relying heavily on imports. Small-diverse farms are competing with large internationally-supported grocery stores and corporate farms. Fertile farmland continues to be displaced by developments or degraded by unsustainable practices, and consumers are taught to choose quick, cheap bites over quality, nutritious products…the concerns are seemingly endless. But not all hope is lost. This is thanks to you, our customers.
Thanks to you, I show up to work every day and continue my career as a young farmer. The conversations I have with you at the farm stand are fuel for my perseverance and restores my hope that small local farms will survive. This 4th of July, I hope you celebrate with our home-grown produce and good company.