It begins as soon as the Sexy Mother Foodie has finished waxing poetic on the virtues and advantages of joining a CSA. That’s when reality hits. Precious foodies with passing interests beware: Community Supported Agriculture is the domain of the seriously Sexy Mother Foodie and her minions.
Prepare thyself for the questionable machinations of well-intentioned, cooperative food movements. Just because you signed up for a local CSA and membership was confirmed does not mean you are actually “in.” You have merely entered the strange, troubled labyrinth is equal parts Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi and Kafka.
The Call: Orientation begins with a lone email, accompanied by the threat that if you miss this meeting, you’re out. No confirmations or follow-up reminders will be sent.
The Scene: Arrive at the home of a hippie who reinforces every stereotype you pretend you don’t believe. Other attendees include hipsters and high-maintenance moms who preach that raw milk improves IQ.
SMF: Do I leave my check here?
CSA: Yes, but not today.
SMF: Aren’t you the one to collect our dues?
CSA: A time will come when money is to be paid, but not until you have navigated the netherworlds of Google Groups. There, you will find The Name on The Form. Go there. Find it. Print it. Then give it to her (indicating a farmer to her left)
SMF: I don’t understand—can’t I just give her the check now…
CSA: If you see her and she is not in this room, she cannot take the money.
SMF: (defeated) OK. But do I really need to stay for this whole orientation meeting again? This is my fourth year and …
CSA: (interrupting) We take suggestions monthly via Google hangouts.
SMF: But no one seriously uses google… (she stops herself from speaking, fearing agricultural banishment.)
Time, space, and person must align in the googlesphere in order for a typical CSA to work. To anyone thinking about joining one, this is serious food for thought.
I’m now off to wait in line for eight quarts of strawberries. Though I’ve heard they were switched last night to blueberries. And if they’re not there, then I will contemplate the menacing complexities of my own existence. I’ll think about those berries and wonder, if I never eat them, are they still sweet?