Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My weekly race against time

I probably haven't written about the CSA I belong to because I didn't think it was particularly newsworthy, but writing about it will make two days in a row that I will have posted, so here goes.

This year, I decided to join a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and what a CSA consists of is a farmer who grows crops and a group of shareholders who prepay a certain dollar amount to fund the farmer who then uses the money to purchase supplies and grow the crops. The shareholders then receive an equal share of the crops as they're ready. Ours started in May and continues until some time in the fall, depending on what's still growing, etc.

The CSA has been a terrific experience, so far. We've enjoyed some vegetables we've never eaten before, like bok choy, kale, and garlic scapes (they make a delicious pesto, by the way), along with some old favorites like snap peas, green and yellow beans, all different kinds of lettuce, and zucchini. The major drawback is that we get so much produce each week that it's a race against time to finish it before it goes bad. Unfortunately I've had to pitch some foods that I didn't get around to cooking, like cauliflower and cabbage (not favorites, can you tell?). I hate throwing food away, so this part is stressful for me.

Will I join again next year? I don't know. I really enjoy knowing that I'm getting fresh, locally grown produce every week, but I would prefer to have more control over what I get so little if any goes to waste. If I could pay less but get nothing but salad mix, green beans, snap peas, broccoli, scapes, zucchini and tomatoes, I'd be a very happy shareholder. But that's not how it works. Maybe the solution is just to hit the farmers' markets; that way I know I'm getting what will be eaten. Fortunately I have plenty of time to figure that out.

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