Autumn Changes: Organic, Local and Sustainable Food, and Our CSA

Reader Contribution by Shawn Hosford
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As the leaves turn, and the Seattle rain pours to welcome autumn, I begin to question the more personal changes and choices I’ve made in my life. The changing seasons often lead me to heightened self-reflection. For this reason alone, this turning inward, the time between seasons may be my favorite season of all. I always find myself relishing the surprise, unpredictability, and newness autumn brings. The season’s arrival prompts my imagining of the coming foggy glow from home windows as the chilling temperatures and string of holidays move our activities inside.


With the beginning of each season comes necessary endings. As summer turns to autumn, I have the hardest time letting go of our summer fruit and vegetable share from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). CSA’s are membership supported farms and have been in our country for more than 25 years. To locate a farm near you, you can check out the Local Harvest website. We’ve been members of our CSA, Helsing Junction Farm, for 22 years, when they first began and had approximately 75 members, much fewer than their current 1,200. Clearly, change is not only seasonal.

Our weekly CSA share has necessitated a continued practice in flexibility. Every box comes filled with varied combinations of fruits, vegetables, and herbs fresh from the earth, so our CSA-driven meal planning fluctuates from week to week, based on what comes to us from the ground versus what we plan for and seek out in the stores. Helpfully, Helsing posts weekly recipes on their website to aid this ”on your toes” method of meal planning. Knowing we’ll receive delicious, healthful produce, but not knowing the contents of our weekly summer box, I let go of planning and get creative. Our CSA has me experimenting with ingredients and combinations I could never have planned on my own — a great lesson to me that change can come from releasing total control.

Food keeps us moving and growing. It keeps us alive. We must feed ourselves, whether or not we welcome the task, just as we must put on more clothes when the temperatures turn colder. The more I acknowledge the opportunity necessities of life provide, the more conscious and engaged I am in my living, breathing being. Throughout all change around me, I hold to one constant, my unwavering intentionality in parenting, general living, and eating. It’s going to take a lot of us to turn around the way food comes to us. As large corporations toxically engineer our world for unsustainable growth and over-production, the purity of nutrients in organics become increasingly important for us and our planet. I urge you to critically consider what you eat.

For further exploration on engaged eating, I highly recommend GMO OMG, a wonderful endorsement for practicing a life in communication with our planet by organic seed appreciation and seasonal eating.

Questions for healthy consideration: What will you eat today? Where is it being grown? Can you feel the difference in your health and body depending on what you eat?

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