CSA anyone?

Summer is here, summer is almost over and summer has been a bountiful time for an abundance of flowers and veggies a gardener’s season to see their labor of love all come together. With the distractions of my favorite season, summer; I realized I needed to send out those two blogs I promised. So I thought it would be fun to share with you one of my happy, happy joy places “The Farm” it’s second to the beach for me on my take me away from reality places and warms my heart every single time!


This summer I was asked specifically by Farmer Dan to work the CSA at Coverdale Farm, this invitation I’m sure was given because he knows the joy this place brings me when I’m here throughout the year teaching others about the farm in many ways from leading programs on the farm such as :Farm Life, Farm to You, Yoga on the Farm, hikes and holding special and private cooking events. This place keeps me busy in a good way!  But, back to the CSA and why I thought it would be great to share on our garden blog; I have never in all my life been inundated with soooo many vegetables, when I return home my family is just like WOW more vegetables, its been discussed that we now need a full size refrigerator to just house the harvest that comes thru the doors in my arms, bags and baskets LOL It’s Veggie Palooza over here for sure- giggling.

So what is CSA you might ask, it’s an acronym that stands for Community Supported Agriculture many farms in our area have CSA programs. The local farms grow an abundance of food to share in the community, the community in turn pays a fee and buys a share into the farm; either in the form of a half share or full share. This allows families to get the best fresh produce from May to October and the opportunity to try traditional and unusual vegetables and fruits.

Which by the way has been my new lesson on the farm to all that visit, is that what we think are vegetables are really fruits and in the culinary world they are really called botanical fruits not vegetables! A true vegetable is that which is a root, leaf or stem (potatoes, carrots, rhubarb, onions, etc…) anything else especially if it has seeds is a fruit; so yes tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, corn (yes corn), and string beans to name a few are fruits not veggies people, LOL.   Fruits are the ovaries of a flowering plant that develops after its seeds are fertilized or in some cases not fertilized. And don’t challenge me by saying broccoli and cauliflower are fruits because they are not, they are actually undeveloped flower buds that never opened so they are vegetables. And if you really want to get technical bananas and grapes are berries since they come from a single ovary with multiple seeds, and while we are in this debate, let’s go there and know that strawberries are NOT a fruit ( I know this is crazy, too funny) but they are really fruit parts called a fleshy receptacle, just a few things I have researched and learned by teaching on a farm part time, LOL.

Bottom line if you are not eating local fresh food please at the end of this blog, gather your peeps (slang for people aka your family) get in the car and go for a nice summer drive and pick up some fruits, veggies, berries or whatever you thought it was until I just made you scratch your head and question all produce, and enjoy God’s natural blessings to us, they are true healers of our bodies, safer than commercialized produce and they makes us get to know the wonderful people who grow our food with love and a purpose. They do this, to do good by us all when it comes to wholesome delicious “old school” food. And if you are growing your own food that’s even better, for the first time this year I grew tomatoes (that actually produced fruit:) with some help from Farmer Dan, even in my mostly shady garden.  Let’s just say; I did a dance when I harvested my own tomatoes and put them in a meal for my family, it was a good day indeed!!

As the summer comes to an end and I go to play in the sun for vacation and to celebrate a summer birthday, I hope this end of the summer blog finds you happy, healthy and surrounded by those you love amidst the heat and humidity, sticky sweet fingers of something frozen dripping to cool your soul, sandy toes, dancing in the rain (whenever it comes, LOL) looking at a summer sunset on or near the water or just out your back door, enjoy what’s left of this precious season and till next time when the world is a little cooler grab some local produce, visit a farm and be a true gardener and ingest your harvest!!! Peace to you all.




Omotenashi means hospitality in Japanese, it’s the pure essence of how to treat your guest when they are under your care. We ended our garden club yearend picnic at the lovely home and garden of Hiro and Pat; despite the rain they displayed subtle qualities of the traditional omotenashi tradition but in a lay back and fun way! Of course we took care of business and had our meeting which was quick and to the point because we all are foodies and just wanted to get into the lovely dishes that were prepared by all. If there is one thing Countryside knows how to do is have an amazing potluck truly to be coveted by all. To help digest our yummy morsels we eventually took a stroll in Hiro’s amazing garden, which by the way was weeded quite nicely by his lovely bride Pat while he was off traveling prior to our visit. Thanks Pat for your efforts the garden looked stunning! So we all know, Hiro loves moss and he has a magnificient moss garden full of his favorite mosses.


I was quite impressed it’s the real deal, not just some moss growing under an established tree there is a designated area in the garden just for the moss to do their thing, LOL This garden also houses unique tree specimens and has been carefully designed to have trees strategically placed to create a private garden that’s enclosed on all sides. IMG_5902

When you look out the kitchen window you see the back of the garden with a mix of various plantings but its obvious that when you look to both sides of the garden it is lush, with a diverse selection of shrubs and trees giving the space the feeling of a big hug, its just wonderful and makes you want to be in the space for a moment maybe with a cup of tea and or a nice book.

Just as the clouds cleared to let us take a quick tour, they soon filled again with liquid sunshine and showers began again, with many colorful umbrellas in hand we moved back inside to the garage to work on our Habitat for Humanity garden planters which we make every year to celebrate “Garden Week” and then deliver in our local Habitat Humanity community.  We also exchanged plants which is like exchanging a hug in our club because you take a little of whomever donated that plant with you to place in your garden forever and to also look at over the summer when we are apart. It was a great day to an end of another wonderful year of our garden family making memories.

Hopefully this summer has allowed you to give omontenashi or to receive it, either way till we convene again it was a great time had by all to transition into the summer bliss. Thanks Hiro and Pat we had a great time, and we hope the summer has blessed you thus far with the peaceful and joyous time you bestowed upon us!