Written by Ali Abbors, Hidden Villa Journeyman
When are tomatoes tastiest? What is rhubarb season? Who grows my cucumbers? We are hungry, and not only for nutritious, affordable, ethically-grown foods. We crave connection to the natural rhythms and hardworking humans that bring these foods to our tables. When grocery store shelves are stocked year-round with fruits and vegetables from around the globe, it’s no surprise that we’ve lost track of the delicious details that reveal themselves when we eat by Mother Nature’s clock. Eating with the seasons—whether through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, a local farmers’ market, or our own home gardens—provides an intimate connection to nature’s rhythms and a deeper appreciation of the true value of our food.
As organic farmers, the Hidden Villa CSA crew is reminded every day of our connection to, and dependence upon, the cycles of nature. Even though we farmers know to expect them, we’re awed every year by the subtle signs that mark the changing light and the coming of a new season. As winter draws to a close, we celebrate the budding of the plum trees, knowing that the rest of our orchard will soon follow. We rejoice in the first transplanting of zinnias and sunflowers knowing that we will soon be surrounded by their beauty. We delight in the tiny tomato plants emerging in our greenhouse, our imagination drifting to summer fruit fresh from the vine.
Seasonal eating and flower appreciation is a practice in enjoying the precious uniqueness of food and blooms in their proper place and time. It provides us with the joyful challenge of stretching our palates to accommodate what is growing here and now. It rewards us with an ever-changing menu to hold our interest. In a practical sense, eating with the seasons is also more flavorful because crops are harvested at the peak of ripeness, more affordable because prices are lowest at the height of each crop’s season, more nutritious because crops are more full of nutrients at the peak of freshness, and better for the environment because crops don’t need to travel across oceans or continents to get to your plate. Whether you’re a foodie philosopher or a culinary pragmatist, eating seasonally will repay your efforts with an undeniable richness of flavors and connections.
Hidden Villa’s CSA, which provides members with weekly shares of organic produce and flowers between May and November, makes it easy to explore the joys of seasonal eating. A preview of our diverse monthly offerings is available here. With a variety of plans, pricing, and flower bouquet add-ons, members can choose the option that best fits their family's needs. We even help you learn to enjoy new and unfamiliar vegetables with a collection of tried-and-true recipes! Our online registration system makes it easy to sign up, and donations enable us to offer CSA scholarships to families living on low incomes.
Whether you join our CSA, visit our booth at the Los Altos Farmers’ Market, or grow food in your own garden space, we wish you inspiring culinary experiences that deepen your connections to good food, natural rhythms, and each other.