Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Finally Joined a CSA

For quite some time, I have been wanting to join a CSA (community supported agriculture). In fact, I have considered joining one for many years. About 15 years ago, when I wanted to join for the first time, a friend of mine quit her CSA because she didn’t like being surprised every week with “random” produce and fruits. So I became a bit skeptical and decided to wait…

Basically, when you join a CSA you get a weekly, biweekly, or monthly delivery (or pick up) of produce that’s in season in your area and produced by local farmers. In general, you have the option to opt out of produce you know you don’t like. However, you never know for sure what’s going to show up on your doorstep.

I didn’t join a CSA until now because I enjoy shopping at Farmers’ Markets so much. However, there aren’t in fact that many organic farmers, and some markets seem to have more “vendors” versus true, local farmers. Also, some of my favorite local, organic farms have stopped selling at the markets in my area.

I joined the biweekly “basic” program, which means I get a produce delivery right to my front door every other Friday. I think this is a good way to “try it out” and see if this will work for us.

My first delivery was on Christmas Eve (Thursday) as all deliveries were moved up a day because of the holidays.

Here is what I got:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Leeks
  • Yellow Onions
  • Mandarins
  • Oranges
  • Apples

I already used the baby bok choy and an onion for a simple stir fry dish with some mushrooms on Thursday. I hadn’t planned on the dish, but it turned out great. I simply sauteed an onion and some garlic and then added the bok choy and the mushrooms and sauteed everything for a few minutes. Then I seasoned the dish with a bit of salt & pepper as well as a splash of sesame oil and a tiny bit of soy sauce.

I’m really glad I joined the CSA as it will (hopefully) inspire me to prepare and eat foods we may not otherwise buy and eat very often.

Questions: Are you part of a CSA (now or in the summer months)? If so, what do you like/not like about it? Have you ever considered joining a CSA (if not now, maybe in the summer months)?

Be well,



  1. Congrats on joining a CSA! I've always wanted to join one, but it hasn't been practical here in NYC. Enjoy!

  2. OMG I LOVED my CSA in San Diego. 4 mos ago we moved from San Diego to AZ (trying to get back to San Diego though!) and the whole time I was part of a CSA. and it was FAB! It made me an amazing cook with the most exotic ingredients and b/c i never wanted to waste anything, bok choy, kale, and chard became staples in my diet :) as did the unending supply of oranges and although you think you can never get sick of strawberries, 4 to 5 POUNDS every other week (that you have to eat within the first 5 days or so) get real creative :)

    I miss it, I support the mentality, culture and think it rocks that you're doing it! Where do you live?

  3. I'm not sure if we have one in our area, so I'll have to check it out! I love that you can get it delivered! One less trip!

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday, Andrea!

  4. We joined a CSA a couple years ago, but it was NOT delivered to our door! i think that's so neat. That was actually one of our complaints, as sometimes we didn't have time to go to the market on the particular day our food would be there. Also, many weeks we got the same foods over and over (Green beans and bok choy). I think it's a risk, but it's a risk worth taking if you know how to use the foods you get, and you are ok with the possibility of not much variety. Let's just say I learned how to cook a mean bok choy! haha, actually that's not true, I'm boring, just cooked it and added some spices and vinegar.

  5. I've heard about these, and would love to be a part of one! I'll have to search for one in my area.

  6. we've been wanting to join one for a while but haven't known where we'd be living and don't want to make (and pay) for a commitment we won't see through!

  7. I would LOVE to join a CSA, sadly that is definitely not an option here in Saudi Arabia. In fact, organic food period is not available here. Your haul looks lovely, such fresh and gorgeous produce!

  8. That is so cool. Congrats. I think if I had that near by I would do it. I have a local organiic market in my village, so I can stop their, and there are always street vendors around here. But they don't delivery. I will say that they do delivery for bread, which is neat. My neighbor gives us potatoes, onions and tangerines, so that is pretty awesome, oh and eggs. I feel spoiled, so when we are eventually back in the states I may have to seek out a CSA. Thanks for the info, sounds so cool, wow!

  9. I belonged to one and loved the adventure of opening the box and planning my meals around the vegetables. And discovering new types of squash or potatoes or lettuce! But I began getting veg that had been packed too early in the week and finding it to be spoiled. They were good about crediting me or replacing it the next week, but it was disheartening and I finally gave up on it.

  10. Exciting!!!

  11. i used to do a CSA but found that a lot of stuff wound up rotting in my fridge. i guess we eat out a lot more than i'd like to admit!

  12. I was part of one very briefly when we lived in FL, but then we moved. I thought it was great. I'm not sure if there are those here. I'll have to check!

  13. I've been wanting to join a CSA!! I think that's awesome! It's just a little expensive upfront, but in the long term it is probably pretty reasonable especially for the local produce factor :) mmm that stir-fry looks yummy and healthy! Hope you had a wonderful holiday :)

  14. This is great Andrea!! GO LOCAL!!!

  15. What a beautiful bounty you received. Can't wait to see what the future weeks bring you, too, and learning what you create with it all.

  16. Anonymous1/10/2010

    I love this concept! I will look for one in the NYC area. The delivery does make it seem like a present!