If you picked up Sunday's New York Times, you might have noticed a trend: Not one but four stories this weekend focused on the region's local food chain, with a decidedly sustainable/organic bent.
First up, there's a feature on community-supported agriculture, written by a reporter who's been a subscriber, if not an acolyte, for a while:
"I did not feel a connection to the farm," she explains. "I did not take advantage of the 'pick your own' privileges, or meet the farmer. And I did not partake of the farms social events, like the local-fare potluck dinner, or the end-of-season invitation to pick the fields clean."
But her outlook changes when she accepts an assignment to write about how CSAs work. Shadowing the farmer and his support staff, the reporter gets a day-by-day look at how a CSA functions.
Elsewhere, there's a story about weekend farmers -- those lucky city-dwellers who tend a patch of arable land on their non-office days -- branching out from vegetable gardens and chicken coops to tending dairy cows. They're helped along by workshops for novice cowherds that teach the bovine basics like hand-milking.
Yet another article focuses on locavore resources on Long Island, from a shop that sells only local foods to farm-to-table dining and everything in between: "Farmers markets, 'foodie' clubs that offer locally grown dinners, co-op farms that sell shares of their harvest, and chefs who specialize in Island-based entrees are giving Long Islanders plenty of opportunities to dine on local fare," says the piece.
And rounding out the collection, there's a profile of former city-slickers who became farmers, including a Harvard-trained MBA who abandoned Wall Street to start her own organic farm in rural New Jersey. Apparently, they're not alone: A farm bureau spokeswoman tells the Times that a significant number of Jersey farms are owned by career-changers, and that she sees no end to the trend.
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