26 January 2010

Rita's Roots to leave Lowcountry - First Local CSA Program

Unfortunate foodie news today that Rita's Roots, organic vegetable farm located on Wadmalaw Island, SC, will be taking their produce North to Richmond,VA. Hard to believe that only three years ago, Rita Buchmann established the Lowcountry's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program* on Johns Island, bringing locally-grown organic product directly to consumers. Now one of ten CSA programs, Rita's product has also been readily available at area farmer's markets and found on the menus of local restaurants. See the whole article at Charleston City Paper.

You can also find a listing of all local CSA programs and how to get involved at LowcountryLocalFirst.org. Support your local agriculture!

Vegetable of the Day: Scorzonera (Salsify)
This root vegetable is also known as oyster plant  because its taste resembles a delicately flavored oyster. The parsnip-shaped salsify can reach up to 12 inches in length and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. The most commonly found salsify has a white-fleshed root with grayish skin, though there are varieties with a pale golden skin, as well as one with a black skin (also called Scorzonera). Though salsify is more popular in Europe than in the United States, it can be found here from June through February, usually in Spanish, Italian and Greek markets. Choose well-formed roots that are heavy for their size and not too gnarled. Refrigerate, wrapped in a plastic bag, up to a week. Salsify is generally eaten plain as a vegetable, or used in savory pies and soups. 

*Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a program that provides a direct connection between the farmer and the consumer.  CSA’s reconnect these relationships through maintaining open communication and distributing farming’s inherent risks.  Participants purchase a share of the season’s harvest, which ultimately supports the farm’s early season start up expenses such as seeds, irrigation, fuel, labor, and tractor maintenance.  In return, shareholders receive a weekly box of healthy, fresh, sustainably raised produce, fruits, meat, poultry or eggs throughout the season.

1 comment:

  1. hey elizabeth!
    i'm christina -- a fellow charleston foodie. i just found your blog on urban spoon. where in charleston do you live? i'm going to start following your blog. if you're interested, check mine out at www.hungrymeetshealthy.blogspot.com. take care and happy eating!! :)