A February Love Letter to Spring

We’re just about a month away from the start of the spring CSA session. Somehow. Always somehow, time just rolls (races?) along. Because last year’s spring session sold out quickly, I wanted to spend a little bit of time focusing on it before time gets away from us once more. As I look ahead to tomorrow’s forecasted high of four degrees, I can hardly contain my joy and sense of relief that while I’m hunkering down near the fire, the fact that I’m writing this very post is proof positive that the earth will soon begin to wake up and shake off the last frosty traces of winter. We’ll hike through the melty snow on warm days and drink in the smell of thawing earth. Mud season will happen. I’ll watch anxiously for pale green buds to form on the trees. The birds will return to their posts and resume their habit of waking me before the sun. For the lover of seasons, the spring CSA session is just special. It’s the time when we work through the last of winter’s starchy offerings, hopefully savoring them before they fade away, replaced by all things green. It’s when many of us begin preparing our own gardens, with anxious hopes of bountiful harvests full of all the color and flavor we yearn for during winter. It’s when delicate green leaves unfold and make their way to our kitchens, delicately packed in CSA boxes and bursting with goodness. Spring is all tender shoots and soft crunch. Maybe not all. But those are the qualities that stand out in my mind when I think about those first mild days where the air smells like mud and each day stretches out just a little bit longer than the one before. The spring CSA is both an offering of mindfulness and hope in a bowl.

Apart from my sentimental love of spring is the very practical convenience that comes from the relatively short span of the spring session. With both the winter and summer sessions spanning twenty weeks, the spring CSA session is a great opportunity to try out new Brookford products and new eating habits. If you’ve wondered what it would be like trying to do the majority of your eating from a whole diet share, the twelve weeks of the spring session provide a nice window to give it a try. The shorter time span means less financial commitment and an easier mental shift. With the sad state of our country’s current food supply system, the reality is that the vast majority of us, no matter how committed we are to sustainable eating practices, can probably make some improvements. Eating habits are so ingrained and ritualistic that it can be really challenging to step out of our comfort zones. It’s easy to take our habits for granted, to excuse them based on time or money or convenience, and to assume that the way that we do things now is the way it has to be. Yet our long term well being needs us to make a change.

As we look ahead to the inevitable thawing that will happen over the next six or so weeks, consider whether this may be the time to experiment with trimming your environmental footprint while rejuvenating your health. Perhaps this spring, you commit to twelve weeks of pastured, soy-free eggs. Maybe it’s time to try sourcing your meats locally. You could make it the spring of artisan bread...or cheese. And maybe you, like me, cannot resist the lovely offerings that burst through the topsoil as it warms - the garlic scapes and early carrots and tender greens. If that's the case, you'll need a veggie share too. Perhaps you've heard that raw milk changes as the herd heads back out to green grass. Perhaps you'll need to try the milk and cream yourself, just to say that once in your life you drank sunshine. There are endless ways to make a difference in your health, our economy, and the environment - simply by purchasing your food directly from a farm and the real people who work there. 

And speaking of the real people who work there, stay tuned over the next week for an interview with Matt, Brookford’s Harvest Manager. Because knowing who’s helping to grow your food matters...and it’s pretty cool.

The spring CSA registration is open now - sign up before it sells out!