It wouldn't be fall without a trip to the farm, and today we were especially lucky, because it was Zosia's first preschool fieldtrip, and not to just any farm, but to a very special farm right up the way from our house.
This little farm lives right smack in the middle of suburban developments and has done so for 45 years: I remember stopping at it for fresh tomatoes as a girl, and I feel very optimistic about it still being an adorable little farm just right where it is when Zosia's children are in preschool.
How do they do it? Here we are in an area of the country that is known for its outrageously expensive land, and there they are, year after year with their cute little farm stand filled with produce that they grow right here in Fairfax County. They have really managed to develop their truly tiny farm into a sustainable staple of this area. I'm sure there are still countless challenges for a small farm (the orchard behind this farm closed a few years back because it was just too expensive to stay afloat), but what an inspiration to see a group of people face them with such hard work and innovation.
They have developed a CSA program, started the first cohousing development of the area, and they are regulars at area farmers markets. This year our own appreciation for this farm has grown even more as our sweet friend Michelle has been bringing us weekly bags of overflow produce from her CSA.
Here this little farm is able to sustain its CSA members with such bounty that there are piles of food left for the taking (and what isn't taken is donated to area food banks). And we have been enjoying everything from mint to eggplants to greens whose names I can't even pronounce.
I beamed with pride when Zosia was the only kid in her class who knew what a greenhouse was, or boasted of composting with worms at home. I know there's no such thing as "Farm Class" at school, but isn't some knowledge of where our food comes from worthy of our children's time and attention?
Today I am filled with thanks that such a place exists and that we live in a time where our society has really started to value the gift of a local farm. And now I just need to figure out how to cook bok choy. Any suggestions?