Today’s great food gift is for someone very special. It’s a bit more pricey than the other ideas, but this truly is the gift that keeps on giving. A CSA ( Community Supported Agriculture) membership gives your lucky friend or family member baskets of fresh, local (sometimes organic) produce throughout the Western Pennsylvania growing season. I’ve been a member of the Harvest Valley CSA for quite a few years. Each May, I can’t wait for the pick-ups to begin. Here’s how it works. You buy a share of the CSA, based on your needs and family size. (Prices begin around $200 for the season.) Then every week, once the Western PA produce starts peeking through the ground, you pick up your local goodies at a pre-determined drop-off spot. The CSA season usually runs through the beginning of November and it’s really like getting a great healthful surprise gift every week. Tender greens in the spring, juicy tomatoes in August and loads of winter squash in the fall. Some other CSAs that I’ve heard good things about include Blackberry Meadows, Kretschmann Farm and Cherry Valley Organics. A nice list of local CSAs is on the Slow Food Pittsburgh website at http://www.slowfoodpgh.com/csa.html ( A Slow Food Pittsburgh membership is another great holiday gift idea.) Check the list of last year’s drop-off sites before signing someone up, because convenience is key.
Every week, the lucky recipient of your generous gift will be reminded of how much you care about them. And while you’re at it, why not get yourself a CSA membership, too?