my first CSA!

by Stacy

Today I went on a field trip about 8 miles southwest of our apartment. My destination? A driveway in a nice neighborhood. This particular driveway is not-quite-halfway between me and my farm. Well, it’s not my farm, but it’s partially mine! We are now shareholders in a CSA program.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs have a number of shareholders who pay a set amount each month/season/year to a farm. The farm uses that money to buy seeds, equipment, or labor, then pays each shareholder back with produce from the farm. It supports small local farmers and cuts out the middlemen from the food delivery process making it a great value.

In Minnesota, most CSAs are only offered in the summer with a (usually) optional fall share that is limited in selection (squash, anyone?). Because we have been planning to move for several years, we never bought a share in fear that we would move mid-season. Now that we’re staying put for a while, I was really excited to find a farm near San Diego. Conveniently, in sunny southern California CSAs are available year-round, often with quarterly shares available; my options were plentiful. After researching a few choices, I decided on Suzie’s Farm.

Originally I had tried to sign up a few weeks ago, but there was some ball dropped along the way where they thought I was signed up but forgot to tell me, so I technically missed my first share of vegetables. They wondered where I was; I wondered when they were going to call me! Oops. We got all that cleared up (and they are ever-so-kindly sending me an extra week for free because of the confusion) and today I picked up this plentiful bounty:

an abundance of CSA produce

We got cylindra beets with greens, two heads of Romaine lettuce, a bag of peas, giants bouquets of fresh dill and cilantro, broccoli crowns, chard, spinach, green onions, a generous amount of tomatillos, and a pumpkin!

I haven’t nicknamed my spouse my Veggie-Hating Husband for irony’s sake. I will be eating a lot of produce. However, in a show of spirit, he did suggest (with no prodding) that we use the Romaine to make a Caesar salad to eat with dinner.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I did. And it was delicious.

Don’t worry, I won’t die of a veggie overdose. We chose to get one box every other week. The beet greens and cilantro should get eaten quickly, and a few others will be better the sooner we eat them, but we don’t have to get through all of it by next Tuesday. Each box works out to be $25, so less than $15 per week for all these veggies!

CSA box 10/27/09

(click to see it larger with notes)

Supporting fresh, local produce and I don’t even have to park at the farmer’s market? That’s worth it right there. Sadly, I did stop by the neighborhood farmer’s market on my way home from picking up the CSA box just to get eggs. No egg lady. Crazy duck farm booth had freaking balut, but not a chicken egg to be seen. Wah! Maybe next week.

Having read a number of blogs and forums with CSA shareholders, I know that the biggest struggles people have their first year is the abundance of produce (hopefully alleviated by the biweekly pick-up) and not knowing how to cook with new ingredients. I am looking forward to the challenge, especially trying to find ways for the Veggie-Hating Husband to enjoy the produce with me.

And you can be sure I will be blogging about it, too!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

tater1112 October 28, 2009 at 7:45 am

“In sunny southern California, CSAs are available year-round, often with quarterly shares available.”




stacy October 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

You are more than welcome to visit any time! I hear you have some time off coming up….


Angela October 29, 2009 at 7:23 pm

You are a jerk. Mine ended last week.


stacy October 29, 2009 at 10:16 pm

It’s ok. I know that in Angelese, “a jerk” means “my favorite.” XOXO


fresh365 October 29, 2009 at 6:23 am

I’m so jealous since mine ended last week. I wish we had some kind of winter CSA! Not so possible in Boston though!


stacy October 29, 2009 at 7:23 pm

This is my first time living in a warm climate. It’s still weird to me that we have tomatoes on the balcony that will be ripe in November. I will eat one in your honor. =)


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: