Saturday, July 10, 2010

CSA: Week 5

It wasn't planned but it seems like every year the household makes one change to either increase our energy efficiency or improve the family's diet. One year Mr. J replaced all of our standard lightbulbs with those new pig tail lightbulbs. Another we switched to whole wheat pasta. We stopped buying bottled water and started using a big Brita water filter. And so on.

This year we starting buying community sponsored agriculture. In simple terms we sent a check to a local farm and for about five months once a week, at a designated spot in the neighborhood, we pick up a big bag of produce. Some of it was picked that morning. This was our 5th week of participation. We never know what will be in the bag and it changes from week to week though some fruit is included. So far we've had strawberries, cherries, raspberries, apricots, and plums. The vegetables have included summer squash, green beans, snap beans, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, and so on.

The fun part is seeing what's in the bag and then figuring out what to do with it. Mr. J and I will search around through cookbooks and the Internet to see what you can do with various combinations of vegetables. (Note to Al and Tipper -- try to find a new shared hobby.) The green beans, fruit, and cucumbers tend to get eaten raw or microwaved. I made raspberry lemonade with the raspberries. The fruit is usually gone the first day -- it gets set out in the kitchen for anyone going by to grab.

This has not only increased the amount of fresh fruits and veggies the family eats but also introduced us to new foods; things I would never think of buying but, as it turns out, we all enjoy. Mr. J grew up on a farm and loves getting back in touch with his agricultural roots. I just like seeing all the green stuff. It also reinforces how hard family farmers work. They are in the fields all week and then in farmer's market stands on the weekend. There are a lot of csa options in Pennsylvania. One list, though it is probably not complete, is available here:

To be honest, I had never tasted fresh strawberries before -- the ones in the grocery store were picked early and shipped off. The ones that ripen in the field are amazingly delicious, far better than store bought. It is still early in the csa year but so far we are enjoying this and plan to subscribe again next year.


Anonymous said...

yeah, it's fun, except for the backlog of cabbage (just wait).

never had fresh strawberries?? maybe your family should do a U-pick outing this fall! fun, fun!


Letitia said...

There are several fruits and vegetables that taste much better picked fresh that morning. I find raspberries and blackberries always taste better with scratches on one's arms (from a you-pick-it outing.)

AboveAvgJane said...

Funny you should say that -- we have a head of cabbage in the fridge from last Saturday. Mr. J makes something with it that I don't like to eat.

Strawberries are good in small amounts. U Pick would probably result in too many. Wouldn't want to upset my preservative-based diet with TOO many natural foods. ;)

AboveAvgJane said...


I've enjoyed the raspberries we've gotten. As for the scratches, I kind of got that out of my system by detassling corn in my teen years. A little goes a long way!