Wednesday, March 13, 2013

CSA or seed a tray?

My mother and grandmother both loved to garden.  I grew up composting, digging (with spoons even), looking for worms, and eating rhubarb with sugar out of paper bags on a fresh cut lawn.  But for some reason, try as I might, my green thumb is rather yellow and my crops are crap!  There, I said it!  That felt good;)
I'm done with blame.  I've reasoned that the restrains on my time, the lack of sun, the dog and kids are the cause of my harvesting downfall.  But the truth is that I don't know what I'm doing-right or wrong, and what results is mediocrity at best.
Sometimes we're good at what we know, and what we don't know remains an enigma. Despite my best intentions and thorough research, my success in gardening is limited to a few crops of lettuce (success!), and some leggy tomato vines that can't quite produce.

That being said, March always finds a way to re-ignite the fielding fire within my soul. It's always this time of year that I struggle to decide if I will take on another real time relationship with mother nature, and conquer my recurrent fears of failure.  Soon it will be time to commit, but am I ready to bust out the greenhouse?  Yes, I have a greenhouse:

Seedlings In March
Local horticultural guru Paul Rogers will say that my planting is too premature.  In his recently published Telegram and Gazette piece, he cautions that March is too early, and April is best for starting seeds that will stay strong enough as seedlings to withstand a hardening at just the right time.  He also warns that early sanitation of the landscape will allow for cleansing of the soil, allowing nature to rid itself of overwintering pests.  I must admit, this might be a major weak link for me.  Looking back, I've chronically recycled leaves in the garden as early compost, likely introducing the kind of killers that lurk in the dirt.  I always say (at least once, anyway), finding the things that we do wrong just makes for opportunities to do better;)

Paul Rogers

I can 't stand the thought of not having a healthy harvest to feed upon throughout the warm summer months.  I've been weighing out my options to garden or give way to the CSA that is local to us.  We have joined a CSA in the past, and found the produce to be a bit overwhelming at times.  But we are older, smarter, and healthier now, and arguably more adept to introducing new foods to our family.  Our research has found the most helpful link:

The site explains that Community Supported Agriculture has become the most streamlined way to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.  Our most local CSA is Many Hands Organic Farm (

My friend Steve Foskett, who also writes for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, tried out "mhof" and loved it.  He attributes the start of a new lifestyle in part to the shares he received and the new foods that were introduced into his life.  What's weird though, is that Steve is actually starting to look a little like Paul Rogers!

Steve's impersonation of Paul Rogers

So, after much thought and further ho-humming, I am now starting to collect ideas for a "small"-ish garden and a half share in the CSA.  I hope there are still shares available!

See what I have found:

What's your plan to go local or go home?

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