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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Early Spring CSA Delivery and New Blog Project

Some of you may remember that I started a "food themed" blog once before, several years back. It didn't go, but given the day-to-day activities that keep me occupied now, I am supplied with ample fodder for stories about food. This post is from my new spot on the web, Kansas Food Stories. I won't duplicate everything I write there here, but wanted to point the way for those who are interested.

First CSA Delivery of the Season from Shepherd's Valley
Shepherd's Valley shareholders got a pleasant surprise on Saturday with a bonus spring delivery of greens. Most seasons, we are still a few weeks away from our first share, but the gorgeous weather of late has resulted in an abundance of salad greens and Farmer John Crisp was eager to share.

The delivery included a bag of mixed lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, green onions and some sweet little baby radishes (they didn't last long at my house). Shareholders also received 2 dozen farm fresh eggs. The hens at Shepherd's Valley are loving this spring weather, as well.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Those who subscribe purchase a share (or a half-share) in the farm's bounty and selection of what is harvested each week throughout the season. Shepherd's Valley now divides their shares into spring, main season, and fall options. The spring share lasts for approximately 8 weeks, April - May. The main season runs approximately 17 weeks, June - September.

When CSA deliveries are in full swing, shareholders in Emporia take turns driving out to the farm and bringing back the shares for everyone. Those trips are scheduled by an area coordinator via email. Most shareholders will pick up at the farm once or twice per season, depending on the total number of families participating. Shepherd's Valley also has shareholders in Council Grove and Topeka.

Shepherd's Valley subscribers also have the option of ordering local honey, bee pollen, Redmond real salt, sorghum molasses, and jams and jellies. Pastured broilers, turkeys and lambs can also be purchased in-season. Several times throughout the year there are opportunities to purchase items such as strawberries, blueberries, or pecans in bulk from other area farms, as well.

A good source for finding a CSA in your area is Local Harvest.

Ramona and John Crisp of Shepherd's Valley CSA.
John and Ramona are lifetime Kansas residents, having been raised on small family farms in the western part of the state. John is a 6th generation farmer, and together, he and Ramona have over 75 years of combined experience in subsistence gardening. For over 30 years, Shepherd’s Valley farm has been using organic and ecologically sound methods to provide wholesome and superior quality foods for its many friends and loyal customers. Shepherd’s Valley has been on the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture, as well as being one of the first farms in the area to introduce the health benefits of pastured poultry and grass-fed lamb. John is a founding member and current president of the Emporia Area Local Food Network, working to promote local food production, distribution, and consumer interest in the region.

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