Spinach, Salad, and the Seasons

What a dozen seasons as a shareholder in a small farm can teach even the most accomplished cook

Greg Reynolds, David's old partner at Riverbend Farms, who now sells wholesale to co-ops and restaurants, once told me that, as a CSA farmer, he felt a lot of pressure to put something new and interesting in the box every week. Of course, Greg also told me that he didn't know how anyone who subscribes to a CSA could make the vegetables—7 to 25 pounds, with Hog's Back—last through the week. I suggested that just maybe his field-laborer-sized portions of squash and kale were a little different from my cube-toiler portions. He seemed nonplussed.

David at Hog's Back grows more than 40 crops—a tremendous feat of management and diversified farming skill. He puts 8 to 12 kinds of vegetables in the boxes every week, more variety than I have ever picked up at the supermarket. What's more, he puts things in that box that I simply can't get at the supermarket: fresh-ground cornmeal, vine-ripened melons, those spectacular heads of lettuce, and an assurance that my spinach is still good for me.

David Van Eeckhout with some of Hog's Back Farm's sweetest sprouts
Sean Smuda
David Van Eeckhout with some of Hog's Back Farm's sweetest sprouts

Hog's Back Farm; W8937 Moritz Lane, Arkansaw, Wisconsin, 54721; 612.756.0690; www.hogsbackfarm.com; david@hogsbackfarm.com. Directories listing other CSAs may be found at www.localharvest.org/csa/ and landstewardshipproject.org/csa.html

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