"What did you think of the price in comparison to the service you received? The price and service were more then acceptable. As long as we can afford organic veggies itís like paying an insurance premium on our health care. Itís worth the investment."
10 ways to eat FRESH
1. Plant a garden in your back yard, 10 steps away to freshness!
2. Forage: blackberries, raspberries, mushrooms etc. on public land, neighbors gardens (always ask first). Try gleaning.
3. Shop at Farm Markets and Farm Stands…don’t forget your bags.
4. Visit an area farm and vote local with your dollar.
5. Try a “pick your own” farm.
6. Buy from a local store that makes it a point to carry locally grown and produced products.
7. Eat at restaurants that serve local ingredients.
8. Go fishing!
9. Check out your community garden (preferably during daylight hours).
10. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get a box of fresh, locally grown vegetables weekly.
Eating Healthy the CSA Way
Have you ever gone into the store looking for Antigo grown potatoes and wondered “Where are they!”? Well I found them; they are down in Madison, while Idaho and California potatoes are filling the bins here. The reason; our food system is not set up for local food distribution. Most chain food stores require all their products be shipped in from their own food distributors, which was shipped from a processor, who bought it from a wholesaler that had it shipped in from a producer. Although I see the need for organization, it doesn’t seem very economical, energy efficient and what about food freshness?
Most of our food travels an average of 1500 miles to reach us. Enormous amounts of energy are expended to transport it, days and sometimes weeks pass before it actually arrives on our plate. For every hour that passes, the nutritional value and freshness drops. Our food distribution system relies heavily on usage of agricultural chemicals, preservatives and fossil fuels. This all has a great impact on our health as well as the health of our planet. Weak earth can only grow weak food.
It is interesting as the nutrition in food declines so does the number of farms or should that be said in reverse? In Wisconsin the number of farms has declined from 143,000 in 1950 to only 21,000 in 2000. Across the Northeast we lose approximately 3,300 more farms every year. Every farm we lose takes us one step further away from having sustainable healthy communities. With losses like this it is obvious this food distribution system is not working for small farmers. Lacking local support, farmers in turn are unable to support their local community with quality food.
There is a new “bring it back home” movement taking hold today, reducing energy expenditures and making healthier, locally grown food more available. Food Co-ops and Farm Markets are popping up everywhere. People are enjoying home grown vegetables that were picked that day still bursting full of nutrients and bold colors. They know their grower and a new feel of community begins to blossom. But that’s not all that begins to blossom, so does the communities economy. Each dollar spent at a local merchant circulates within the community 3 to 5 times more than if it were spent at a national chain. Good for the environment and a double win for us and the community. Community Supported Agriculture does this also and supports a more sustainable secure food network in a community. In only 10 years, the CSA movement has spread to more then 600 farms in the United States and now to our little vegetable farm in Deerbrook.
You will still see us at the Antigo Farm Market, we really enjoy meeting all of you, but to those who can’t make Saturday mornings, lines aren’t your thing or would like to know there is a weekly box of vegetables with your name on them; maybe the CSA is for you.
Community Supported Agriculture is a partnership that joins people directly to the farmer that produces the food they eat. It works like this: you pay for a seasons worth of vegetables in the spring and we deliver them to a designated drop site in your neighborhood, workplace or home (if applicable) weekly throughout the growing season. In our CSA we make a commitment to you and to the land that we will grow your food using no chemicals or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers; we will try to offer a variety of quality vegetables weekly. In turn you make a commitment to us, to the environment and to a healthier lifestyle by purchasing a share in our harvest and sharing some of the risk (and all the bounty) associated with growing crops in the North.
Unlike other CSA’s, helping out on the farm is not mandatory but we do encourage members to come and help at least once to see how there food is grown and to appreciate what goes into the food growing process. McDougal’s Farm LLC also host two fun days on the farm for our members.