(Yeah, all the acronyms make me want to drink too.)
I’ve spent the past few weeks focused intently on developing a hearty variety of digressions that have enabled me to procrastinate my way through the better part of a planting season, more or less eliminating any realistic possibility of working off a full share of produce from any reputable CSA and leaving me no other choice than to actually purchase one. In the absence of healthy, organic, locally grown foods to actually eat, I kept my spirits up by at least reading about them. I had just started listening to Barbara Kingsolver’s audiobook Prodigal Summer (Is there a way to invest in Overdrive because I’m not sure I even know how to actually read anymore.) when I learned that the 10th Anniversary Edition of Animal, Vegetable, Mineral would soon be hitting the shelves. (Yeah, I was shocked too that the AudioBook is only available at my local Library on CDs, and in the weakened state caused by mostly store-bought produce over the last few weeks, who could be expected to lug those behemoths around?)
For now, the USDA still maintains a pretty good directory of Community Supported Agriculture programs and Farmer’s Markets but there’s no guarantee that the City of Chicago will be able to step in again if that site goes dark like the EPA climate science data site recently did. If there is a problem with the USDA site it is rooted in the fact that CSA has suddenly become a trendy term, so that local gumshoes have taken to the web to help separate the glutinous seed from the dry, scaly protective casing. Obviously, the recent EPA assault on regulations affecting nearly every aspect of the food production process makes these resources even more valuable as the quality of supermarket food becomes a little less valuable (for most of us). The EPA spent the last month trying to determine which methods of poisoning the American public prefers and got 55,00 responses that all basically said, “Really, we don’t like being poisoned at all, you know, if it’s up to us”.
Parents with school-aged children won’t be able to count on that one nutritious meal of the day much longer either but students who do survive and make it to college can count on a wave of healthier choices once they get there. Hopefully, at least a few of those college students will study organic farming or sustainable agriculture and go on to start their own organic farms. If someone were able to accomplish that by about the middle of July, we could still make the Spinach and Kale planting season for Zone 4.
Might be a good opportunity for me to look for ways extend the growing season into November (and into my basement) and expand into some new sources of nutrition.