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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Chapter Chair's Column
Spring pleasures
May 2008

Spring wildflowers are in bloom and adding so much enjoyment to our outings program. The hills in our region are covered with breathtaking displays of poppies, lupine, goldfields and a wide variety of old flower friends we only see a few weeks of the year.

Another one of my favorite things about this season is the variety of fruits and vegetables that become available at the farmers markets and grocery stores. Like the wildflowers, some things come into season at their peak flavor for only a few weeks. This month I began a program I had been interested in for a while but wasn't available until now in Carmel Valley. Our local version is called Community Supported Agriculture or CSA but such programs are offered throughout Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

The concept involves subscribing for a weekly box of certified organic vegetables delivered the day they are harvested. My first box was really enormous, maybe too much for us to finish, so I may share a box or give some to neighbors. But the selection of berries, beets, greens and herbs was delicious, and I found I was actually reaching for these goodies instead of empty calories.

Community Supported Agriculture is a real boon to small farms. Receiving the money ahead of time allows them to seek fewer loans, better plan a budget, and gauge their production to requests and popular produce items. The program is sustainable, grown locally, and eliminates driving to distant farmers' markets.

Consider supporting Community Supported Agriculture in your locale. The more subscribers there are for agricultural programs like this, the more resources we save.

And don't forget to vote on Tuesday, June 3!

—Rita Dalessio

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