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,