Thursday, July 3, 2008

So What's a CSA?

I signed up for a half share of a "CSA" this year, because I was too chicken to pay the money for a whole share without trying it first. A half share means I participate only every other week.

Basically a CSA means you are buying a "share" of whatever a farm (or in this case a group of farms) produces. So if the spinach crop is quite robust, but the the snow peas fail, you'll be eating a lot of leafy greens! I have been interested in the concept for a few years now because (1) it is a constant goal to eat more veggies (2) another ongoing goal is to eat a wider variety of veggies and learn how to cook them in diverse ways and (3) local produce is normally cheaper and fresher. I also just like the idea of supporting local growers, because it encourages them to continue!

The CSA I joined is one called Lancaster Farm Fresh, and as the name suggests is produce from Lancaster County, PA. Some is organic, but personally I haven't joined that crusade just yet.

I'm not sure that it has us eating MORE vegetables yet, but it has expanded my horizons. I've served Kale and radishes, both of which are new to my repertoire; and eaten more cabbage then I ever have before. I also have a few fresh beets in my refrigerator awaiting inspiration.

It is a VERY interesting challenge every other Thursday, deciding how best to prepare each vegetable in the few days between pick-up and spoilage.

Since we began in May, we have received wonderfult potatoes, multiple types of lettuce, baby greens, arugula, mustard greens, spinach, kale, cabbage, beets, zucchini, cilantro, and basil. I can't wait to find out what my share will bring next week!

So even if you haven't joined a CSA this year, where do you find the best fresh produce during the wonderful months of summer? Farmers Markets? Roadside farm stands? Your own garden?

1 comment:

Melissa Angert {All Things Chic} said...


this sounds interesting - we will chat about this when i return from OH.