Last year, my husband and I embarked on an adventure. We purchased a year-long subscription to a CSA, short for community-supported agriculture.
It works like this: For a monthly or lump-sum fee, you get a box of produce and optional add-ons (like eggs) from a local farm each month, and depending on the CSA, you can pick it up at a local shop, or have it delivered to your doorstep.
Our veggies came from York Farm, just outside Winston-Salem, and we picked up the box at the recently closed Colony Urban Farm store. Normally, I can’t grow a plant to save my life, but one of our CSA boxes last spring came with herb seeds.
To my surprise, we’ve kept the basil alive — but that probably says more about the basil than it does about us. I’ve killed peace lilies (and their betta fish), a cactus (one of our wedding presents — sorry, Jacky), and countless succulents (birthday and graduation presents — sorry, Caitlin and Grammy).
It amazes me, then, to see people grow beautiful produce, flowers, trees, and bushes. We have a wealth of locally grown things at our farmers markets and community gardens, where you can get affordable (or even free), healthy food. If you haven’t been to one before, try it to celebrate National Farmers Market Week from August 4-10.
And if you’re a home gardener — even an erstwhile one like me — you don’t have to be stuck with sub-par plants. There are some awesome resources in our community, like the N.C. Extension Master Gardener table at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market.
If you’re learning to garden for the first time, get the whole family involved! It’ll be a great way to save money, get some exercise, and teach kids skills they can use the rest of their lives.
Speaking of which, school’s almost in session, and there are quite a few things students of all ages can do to get ready. Take it from me, a former educator and lifelong learner. Next on my list of things to learn: how to grow mint and tomatoes.
Until next month,