It's only March, and with the dreary weather outside, summer may seem a long way off. But it's just around the corner. A great thing about being here in Sullivan County in the summer is the plethora of fresh, organic, locally grown food available --- from the first spring greens in May and June through to the winter squashes in October.
A great way to ensure a steady flow of this bounty is to buy a share in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. With a farm share, you pay a set amount upfront, and every week get a big box of what's fresh that week. A favorite CSA here is Willow Wisp Farm in Damascus, PA, just across the river, 4 miles from Callicoon. Greg Schwartz and Tannis Kowalchuk run a great operation. A full summer share is $600, and that gets you fresh produce every week from June 8th until Nov. 20th that you can pick up at the farm on Fridays between 5 and 7. If you can't make it up on Fridays by 7, it's worth a call to Greg to see if there are other arrangements available.
A real nice aspect of the Willow Wisp CSA is that the pick-up is set up like a farm stand. There are notes on some bins saying "Choose 2 of this" i.e. heads of lettuce and on other bins saying "Take as much of this as you want." So you have some choice, and don't have to take something you absolutely don't like. (I'm talking to you, kale.)
The deadline for signing up for a summer share is April 16th. Information available at willowwisporganic.com. And if you know of other CSA's in the area, please post them in a comment below.