The Allure of the Crop Share

In my neck of the woods buying American, buying local and supporting the troops are becoming more and more of a way of life. It is all about the small, local business owner and your neighbors, which is nice. It is a great feeling to live life this way and something that I am excited to jump into more fully. Around here there are more than a handful of farmers markets which is a great way to spend an evening picking up local bread, small produce, homemade pasta and gorgeous flowers. It is very easy to develop a relationship with these vendors and is a lovely way to pass some time. Through my experiences at some of our local farmers markets I started getting the itch to consider joining a crop share….

Joining a crop share held a lot of allure in my eyes. It would eliminate my need to go to the food store and seek out the best available produce. Many times if I did not hit the store around the same time as a delivery the produce was well picked-over and didn’t always appeal to me. To go to the food store with the best produce available I would have to travel a bit further and after commuting Monday – Friday the appeal (and energy) in that was just not there.

I also wasn’t being creative with my cooking and produce choices. I went with the safe bets – tomatoes, bananas, some sort of berries, maybe a pineapple if I was feeling tropical, cucumbers and peppers – I mean nothing exciting at all here folks. The food store is a safe place that allows you to really choose what you want to cook with and make that week but it was too easy to skip over items I hadn’t ever tried working with and so I didn’t buy those things. If I purchased my produce locally I was at least able to inquire a little more about what this type of melon tasted like, or ask about their favorite way to try and cook this awesome squash…. A crop share seemed like the perfect way to put the food in control and have me learn some new techniques and foods and really spice up the kitchen.

In early summer my crop-share prayers were answered. To this point my biggest fear about joining a crop share was that I would be paying for a lot of food that I wouldn’t’ consume and would not know how to cook with. A local nursery, that also sells local produce, sent out an email to customers offering an exciting opportunity for a limited ‘beta test group’, they were looking to start a crop-share but wanted to try it out first with a limited number of subscribers – they definitely had my attention now. The terms of our crop share was one bushel of mixed items (and flowers!) once a week for six weeks for a very minimal price (in comparison with other crop shares in the area). After six weeks if they continued the program we could continue as well with a discount.

This was the perfect opportunity for me – I was only locked in for six weeks, the price was really insignificant for this timeframe and I would get a chance to see if this was something Greg and I could conquer. Could we really go through this much mixed food in a week? Would we be able to be creative or would we hate most of what we were presented with? We jumped in and here I am now, to share our successes and failures and the funny recipes that may ‘crop’ up along the way. I am going to apologize in advance for our poor food photography, maybe in 5 weeks we will be better at it J Please sit back, enjoy our crop adventures and please take a moment to share what has worked, or flopped, for you!

To the crops & beyond!
Allison

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One response to this post.

  1. […] it has been six weeks since we started on this adventure. Since I originally created a post (https://creativecrops.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/hello-world/ ) about why I had wanted to get into the crop-share pilot program at our local ‘farm’ I thought […]

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