me that is, not the vegetables. I am spoiled by my CSA. Spoiled by deliciousness, convenience (yes!) and by something bigger, harder to define. Everywhere we look we’re told to slow down, unplug, spend time with our family, be mindful, and of course eat more fresh vegetables and cook from scratch.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for me inspires all of the above. It may take a while to get into the groove of getting a big bag of fresh produce every week. There’s the putting it away, learning how to prepare a new vegetable, maybe having a loose plan so that it doesn’t spoil (rotten:), and figuring out how to use up the last bits before the next one arrives. But once you have that down you might realize how much less time you spend at the grocery store or wondering what you should make for dinner.
If you get overwhelmed by the veggies, share them with your neighbor or make a giant something–curry, soup, gratin, 3 batches of pesto. . .and freeze half or give some away. You will make fast friends! And speaking of friends, the community piece is just plain cool. You get to know other members, the farmer(s), how they grow the food, how hard they work to provide a nice variety of things for you to eat any week of the year. That is HARD to do! And you get to know what grows in your region and how delicious lettuces and peas and peppers and corn can actually be.
There’s also the joy of (delicious) frugality for me. I’ve never eaten better for less. If the fridge is full of veggies I’ll eat them and won’t go buy a bunch of other items. If you stock your pantry well and shop for perishables once a week you will be set. You will eat differently. You might discover that you can turn anything into a latke-like fritter, top it with hot sauce and/or Greek yogurt and feel like you never need another recipe again.
If any of this sounds tempting, give it a shot! And if you’re in the Portland (OR) area this weekend come to the CSA Shair Fair on Saturday (10-2) where 40 CSA Farms will be set up to choose from! And there will be Chef’s demos (hosted by me) and kids activities, and amazing food.
Happy Cooking, Happy Eating and Happy Spring!