The whiteness of Cambridge after a heavy dump of snow can be breathtaking. Whiteness blankets everything. Buried cars squish together along the curb like colossal marshmallows. Rooftops disappear under layers of creamy white frosting. Beneath a colorless sky in this white on white world, it can be difficult to remember the more vivid hues of warmer weather. And yet, in just a few short months, we'll trade our frozen fingers and toes for frozen tongues that lick, lick, lick, their way to the bottom of ice cream cones and popsicles.
I love the seasons. And I love living in a place where each season is positively flamboyant.
Recently, I received word that even as I knock the salt from my boots and peel off my soggy socks, it's time to start thinking about summer: the Siena Farms 2009 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program is now selling pre-season memberships. Here's how it works. You pay a fee that goes toward the costs of farming, and when harvest time rolls around (June through November) you get a weekly share of the crops. My previous farm share experiences have been scrumptious. The first glorious summer that I tasted the greens from our CSA, I wondered what the heck had been posing as "lettuce" in my salads for all those years. I can't wait to see what Farmer Chris and the folks at Siena Farms will dig up for us this year.
If you are interested in learning more about Siena Farms or joining the CSA program, take a look at their website. Worried about your ability to consume large quantities of achingly delicious produce? You can split a single share with neighbors or friends. (That's what we're doing.) Signing up early not only guarantees you a share, but also helps the farm cover all of the pre-season expenses.
Oh, and by the way, there's an entire menu of other reasons to join this particular CSA program. Literally. Pick-up, you see, is at Sofra Bakery and Café, the newest venture of Chefs Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick. (Chef Ana Sortun is married to Farmer Chris Kurth. The farm is named for their daughter.) I'll resist the urge to write another paragraph or two about Oleana, the Sortun-Kilpatrick collaboration in Cambridge that just happens to be my favorite restaurant in town. Three little words, for now: Vegetarian. Tasting. Menu.
How pleasing it is to sit, wrapped in an afghan by the fire, and dream of what might appear in my pots -- and on these pages -- come June.