This has been quite an odd year for growing food in this region. The Spring crops were so early we almost missed them. We were then ready for summer to fall fast on springs’ heels, but have instead endured nearly the coldest June on record causing the governor to request agricultural disaster assistance for 29 Washington counties. But, alas, summer is here. Seeds that patiently waited are raising their arms and singing songs of joy. Those that weren’t quite so stalwart, but, instead, rotted in the dirt, are being replanted in hopes of a more predictable summer. The farmers, regrettably, are going to find their recovery takes a little longer. This has been a rare opportunity for CSA (community supported agriculture) members to actually be supportive of their farmers when Mother Nature decides to march to the beat of a different drummer! It’s that kind of support of individual subscribers to receive less food when the fields have less to give that helps level the risk for farmers. That risk has been traditionally covered by crop insurance, federal relief, crop subsidies, etc. that all add to the cost of our food every day whether we pay for it at the grocery store or through our taxes. CSAs offer the opportunity to pay the actual cost of our food and do it in the context of local relationships affording us the ability to affirm the work and farming practices that are kind to our land, allowing that land to offer up the best it has to give. When we relinquish that opportunity for local control of our food, we place those personal choices in the purview of large, distant, governmental bureaucracies whose priorities are not our own. So, we raise a toast to those stalwart CSA supporters who graciously, uncomplainingly, stood by their farmers during this long season of anticipation.