Sesame Street and the Cosby Show used to be my New York City. I grew up on a family farm in Iowa where my great-grandfather, grandfather, and father worked the soil. Working in the fields, garden, and helping raise livestock was the normal thing, and my parents taught me to respect the earth and understand what all goes into growing food. We ate fresh vegetables right out of the garden (and the most delicious sweet corn on the cob ever out of the field) in the summer, then my mom canned everything she could to make it through the winter. Our eggs came from the neighbor’s chickens, and the beef we ate went from our pasture to the meat locker straight to our freezer. When your time, love, and energy goes into your food, eating turns into a magical thing. My tomato plant in my first apartment after college grew slowly, but I remember calling my dad when it produced that first cherry tomato that I had planted, watered, and cared for.
Out of all the places I’ve lived, NYC has been the most difficult to find my way in the grocery stores, produce stands, and Farmer’s Markets. Yet it’s been the most thrilling to learn more about CSAs and urban farming and teach others how just a few pots of vegetables in their apartments can make all the difference. Just imagine if everyone in this city had a garden in their yard, on their rooftop, or in a few pots on the windowsill! They’d understand the incredible need for more CSAs and learn the beauty of creation. Farming is hard work with amazing rewards and a whole lot of lessons. So check it out and try a pot of tomatoes, a mix of herbs, or a row of carrots in the springtime. Educate yourself, then teach your children, neighbors, co-workers, and family about what their neighborhood CSA can do for them! Many people don’t even know they exist, so let’s show them how to have a life with sustainable, local, organic food!
In celebration of our fantastic summer season with the Forest Hills CSA, tonight we’re eating a tasty bok choy and radish stir fry with sweet potato cupcakes for dessert! I’m excited to read more books about urban farming this winter, make a list of the NYC Farmer’s Markets schedule, and sign up for more seasons with our CSA. Check out books from the library, talk to the farmers, and learn online about how we can change this city into a healthier, more delicious place!