Last spring, while visiting with Korena Mewaldt one morning, she told me abut her plans to start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or farm subscription in Fallon. It was something that she had wanted to start for quite some time, and was very passionate about. The produce for the CSA would come from her farm, Mewald't Organic Produce, that she operates with her husband Bill. Most years they have been taking most of their produce to the gourmet restaurants in Reno, 4th Street Bistro http://www.4thstbistro.com/and LuLu's, and occasionally at Farmer's Market up there also. This year she wanted to try and stay a little closer to home, while also bringing something new to the community. Most CSA's that I have researched provide baskets of produce and maybe eggs on a weekly basis on a subscription type service. You sign up for a month/week/season and the produce, whatever is in it's peak at that time, is delivered to your door. Korena had dreams of taking it a step further, and she has. Here is what she wrote for the introductory letter:
"I intend to cater to the gourmet, gourmand and culinary cool! Let's travel this summer right here at home, with garden menus/themes from around the world. Our weekly baskets will feature veggies, recipes and tips. We'll experience Greek Week, Tastes of Tuscany, Menus from Mumbai and other exotic destinations for your taste buds....recipes and ideas are always welcome!"
"Here are the details, each week, baskets will be filled and delivered to the drop points. We'll start once our produce is available (near the end of June) and continue until our garden closing in the fall (after the first hard frost), Recipes, culinary tips, and notes on what's happening in the garden will be included" Price: $25.00 per week, payable weekly or monthly.
With this letter came a list of the produce that we might expect during the season, 3 columns, including everything I eat, plus so much more! and also non-fertilized eggs, and edible flowers.
After gathering up names of people that might be interested, she started planning all the logistics. Baskets were purchased, newsletters developed, and menu's planned. With an initial list of 10 people that were committed to her for the season, she was up and going. Then the surprise hit.....all of us!
The first week that the baskets arrived at the nursery, drop off point for 4 people, we watched as Korena got out of the car, a true Garden Goddess! dressed in a beautiful flowing dress, sun bonnet on her pretty head, she opened up the back of her car and viola! there was an amazing assortment of produce, eggs and even a vase full of cut flowers to grace each basket. We stood around the gift shop ohhhing and ahhhing over each item, all individually carefully pruned, washed and wrapped, our newsletters standing at attention on the sides of the baskets. I couldn't help myself, and started picking through everything, already planning out my menu for that evening. There was even a full garlic braid, included! WOW!!
So it has been every week.....each week better than the last as the season's bounty has come into full harvest. We have had beets, blackberries, cantaloupe, carrots in 5 colors, swiss chard, tomatillos, watermelons, lettuce and mixed greens, cucumbers and squash and on and on and on! The newsletter is filled with the most delectable of dishes, most easy to prepare. We have traveled the world from France to Greece, Japan to Spain. I look forward to the newsletter that comes with the produce as much as the greens themselves. Filled with tidbits of her travels around the world, families suggestions and memories and did I mention the recipes! This has been a gift, to myself, that I have looked forward to every week.
Next year she plans on expanding her business to include 20-30 people. I strongly suggest emailing her at email@example.com if you are interested. She will put you on the list and let you know if she is able to include you next year. I'll be there, right at the top.....I don't want to miss another week. She will also be at the nursery this coming Sunday, September 14th as she demonstrates the Solar Ovens that we sell at the store. She will be making Ratatouille Provancale with fresh produce from her farm and serving it at 3pm when the Vermiculture class is over. YummYumm.
And Korena, if EVER there was a true Garden Goddess....it is you! Thank you from all of us, Susan