Sign me up for a CSA!

February 28, 2011 § 2 Comments

It was a pretty fun and eye opening week for me looking into CSAs (community supported agriculture). I’ve made my decision and I’m planning to join a couple of them. There were a few factors involved in the decision:

what kind of food do I want? I decided to join the Monroe Organic Farms CSA for their summer produce share as well as their honey and fresh eggs. All of the farms I looked into were organic. Monroe Farms is the oldest organic farm in CO and also one of the longest running CSAs at 19 years. I trust that.

what else do I want besides food? It was a hard decision between Monroe and Pastures of Plenty Farms, so I decided I would do both. I am going to sign up for the flower CSA at Pastures of Plenty. It’s one example of other great perks you can get through CSAs.

It will be so nice having fresh flowers in the house each week.

who grows the food? Getting out and meeting some of the farming community was important to me. I met a lot of wonderful people this week but I especially had a soft spot for the Monroes. Jacquie and Jerry Monroe are great people, and I like knowing their family has been tending to that land for 3 generations.

They reminded me a lot of the farmers I knew growing up in South Carolina and  it will be fun to get to know them better through the CSA.

 

 

how involved do I want to be in the farm? I think one of the interesting parts of joining a CSA is that many farms offer working shares. You not only get a discount on your food for the season but you get to be a part of the inner-workings of a farm. It was nice to see people bringing their kids out to help so they have a better understanding of food.

I haven’t decided whether I can do the weekly 4 hours of work since I live a little far away, but maybe it would be worth trying out.

I would definitely encourage people to look into CSAs nearby. Even if you can’t join one there are lots of ways to support local farms. I’m looking forward to lots of good food this upcoming season. It’s already starting to feel like Spring in CO!

Becoming a responsible coffee roaster

January 20, 2011 § 2 Comments

In business school in 1998, I did a project on the ethics of coffee production and shed light on some of the sustainable practices that were being adopted.  I got a “C” for being naive about scale.  I may still deserve that judgement, but it’s been nice to see that sustainable practice has put a dent in socially & environmentally harmful coffee.

When looking for beans to roast, quality is the most important factor but there are others that can make you feel better about what you’re drinking.

Nowadays, it’s fairly easy to buy quality organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffee.  I’ve been looking around at what is available in Boulder and came across Conscious Coffees.  As their name implies, they care.  They are one of 23 members of cooperative coffees an organization that partners with local farming communities where the coffee is grown.  Aside from being good people, they apparently know what they’re doing in the roasting world, as they won Roaster of the Year this year from Roast magazine. They don’t do direct retail, but I have tried them at The Cup on Pearl St and they live up to their reputation.

In terms of home roasting, I’ve been looking to see where you can order responsible green coffee beans and came across a few places.  One that seems reasonable is the seven bridges cooperative site.  I will also ask around as I visit some of the local roasters.

If anyone knows of any good resources, please pass them along!

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