February 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
A great way to figure out which CSA to join is to take a look at who is supplying local restaurants. In Boulder, I’m lucky to be right down the street from some great farm-to-table restaurants. The farm-to-table movement grew from a number of concerns: poor quality, flavor and nutritional value of shipped food, the rise in pesticides and genetically modified foods and the disappearance of small farms. Alice Waters from Chez Panisse in Berkeley was one of the first advocates of the movement. It’s definitely caught on and it’s fairly easy to find options nearby in just about any city nowadays.
In Boulder, The Kitchen is not only a great restaurant but also very active in the raising awareness of local agriculture in the community. They support a number of local farms for everything from produce to meats and cheeses. It’s interesting to take a look at all of the farms they support; it makes you realize how much there is available locally beyond veggies with CSAs, like local peaches, honey, milk,etc.
While a lot of restaurants work with multiple farms, some local restaurants also own their own farms.
In Boulder, Chef Erik Skokan owns both Black Cat Restaurant and Black Cat Farm which supplies a lot of the food he serves. Their menu changes everyday and is a nice reflection of what’s in season. As part of the farm, they offer their own CSA which they like to think of as a season-long culinary experience from 4-course dining experiences to weekly recipes and cooking tips.
I have not been to Fruition restaurant yet in Denver, but we’re going to try to check it out tonight. Last year, Chef Alex Seidel was named one of the top 10 new chefs by Food & Wine magazine . He also owns his own farm in Larkspur, CO where he grows much of the restaurant’s food and has even expanded into cheese-making.
Even if joining a CSA isn’t really for you, there are lots of ways to still enjoy and support local agriculture.