What do you know about Shooting Star CSA (farm subscription)?
Shooting Star is a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm that serves more than 250 families in Oakland and other towns in the eastern half of the San Francisco Bay Area. The farm is located in the Suisun Valley, near Fairfield, and owned and operated by Matthew Mccue and his partner, Lily Schneider, who met at UC Santa Cruz' sustainable farming program. People subscribe to receive produce from the farm 28 weeks a year (May through November). Boxes of vegetables are delivered to neighborhood drop sites every Tuesday. Each box also includes a newsletter penned by Matt and Lily.
Besides listing all of the veggies in the box (e.g. "Gypsy and Carmen sweet peppers"), the newsletter offers simple recipes using the week's ingredients. Matt, who is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and former Peace Corps volunteer, writes a colorful, poetic and often amusing treatise on whatever's happening on the farm or what's on his mind. He's written about the tractor, the weather (of course), animals on the farm, and the wonders of the watermelon.
In September 2014, for instance, he wrote a "musical guide to Shooting Start CSA vegetables" in which he paired each vegetable with a musical group and song or album: carrots with Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy," summer squash with The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give it Away."
"Once summer squash comes into production," he writes, "it definitely gives it away. If you don't harvest them at least twice a week, they become monsters. We mix the yellow, light green, and dark green squash to create a funky combination of food, not unlike the Red Hot Chili Peppers' blend of pop, rock and funk."
Several times a year, subscribers are invited to an open house at Shooting Star, where they can see their vegetables growing in the field and share food made from the farm's vegetables. One time there was a friendly beet-cake cooking contest; another time farm subscribers enjoyed strawberry shortcake made from freshly picked berries.