21 October 2010

Tales from the CSA: Week 20

(I just realized I never posted this!)

The final box:

4 apples
5 yams
5 red potatoes
8 white potatoes
1 green bell pepper
2 turnips
1 head Boston Bibb lettuce
4 chilies

So in the final analysis, what did I think?

With the exception of a turnip that had a bad spot and most of one head of lettuce (both of which got composted), we used everything, and without breaking a sweat.

For a number of items, I really didn't taste a major difference between what I got from the CSA and what I get from the local supermarket.

But...

Fresh peaches. Fresh strawberries.  Fresh tomatoes. Fresh corn.

Every week, Chef Spouse keeps asking: "Is the CSA really over?"

And that, to me, is the real answer: the fun of not knowing what's going to show up every week.

Next year? It's ON!

4 comments:

Deirdre Reid said...

You and other CSA-ers have convinced me that I MUST convince Jim to do one next year. I don't get to the farmers market as often as I wish -- too far. Hopefully I can find one that's convenient to us out here in the hinterlands. I love the idea of surprise and figuring out how to combine what I have with what's in the box. Enjoy your root veggies!

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE said...

http://www.localharvest.org/ can help you find your local CSA options. Some of my colleagues were like "I can just go to the farmer's market and get exactly what I want" too, and living near DC's Eastern Market, I get that. But this was just SOOOO much easier, and I thought the surprise was part of the fun.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at joining a CSA for the first time and your posts were very helpful -- thanks! One question: did you sign up for a full share, or a half-share? (I can't decide which to go with.) Thanks again!

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE said...

Hey, anon, definitely in favor of checking out a CSA. We've continued to do it and are looking forward to the start of Season Four in a few weeks. As far as half or full, a few thoughts:

1. There's two of us, we both love produce, and we cook at home a lot (duh). We've been getting a half share and rarely feel pressure to finish the box before the next one arrives.

2. You can ask your farmer for her/his thoughts.

3. If you're still unsure, go half share this year, realizing you might still need to supplement with produce from your local farmer's market. Better to have to buy a little more than to be wasting a bunch of food.

4. Finally, remember that most things you'll get from your CSA share can be preserved in some way. So if you get too much, freeze, pickle, can, or have a dinner party!