Roo picked up our CSA this afternoon. With this being week 17 out of (hopefully) 19, I’m starting to become nervous about living life without the ease of farm fresh (organic) produce being packed up in a bag for us every Friday.
We both had never signed up for a CSA before, and I’m happy to say as we near the end of our season, our first try turned out great! Though their CSA started later than most (June 24th), we’ve been really happy with the abundance of leafy greens (kale is one of our favorites), summer tomatoes and basic overall variety (we’ve never tried tatsoi till this summer) that we’d see in our bag every week. Also, it has been a great time and money saver when it came to our weekly grocery shopping. It worked out to be only $15 per person per week for our regular share. Not only was it organic, but literally plucked from the ground and thrown into our bags that morning.
Some people say they can’t taste the difference between farm fresh/local produce vs. something from the other side of the States, or even from abroad like Chile. Maybe it’s the placebo effect Roo and I experienced, but we truly felt we could taste the difference. I swear you could taste the love.
Like life, nothing is perfect, and there were a few things I didn’t expect, as I’ve been a grocery store shopper most of my life. For example, plucking off one or two slugs I’d find on our chard (why chard slugs, why?), finding a startling corn worm after shucking an ear here and there (I’ve never seen a corn worm before!), and screaming/running away from our bag when I saw jumping spiders (something I thought I could forget about after taking Bio 101, when our professor was obsessed with them). But you know what? Now that I think of it, it’s kind of satisfying.
I know, have I lost my mind?
Hear me out.
I knew the bugs were there because they weren’t being killed off by the sprays that conventional growing allows. It’s one of those moments where I realized, “what’s good enough for the bugs, must be good enough for me.” In a way I felt a bit of comfort, knowing that what I was washing off from the veg is really only dirt (and maybe animal-you-know-what) and not something that may leave residues.
Another thing I started to notice after signing up for this CSA is that the produce that we get in the grocery store is so…sterile. I’ve never grabbed anything from their shelves that wasn’t washed absolutely spotless, and sometimes covered in a sheen, like you see with red peppers or tomatoes. The lettuce that we received this year, practically exploding out of their ties, had what looked like, streams of dirt running down the stems toward the root, literally showing that these plants grew up from out of the earth. Perhaps I’m romanticizing this whole, “local food” movement, but I really do love knowing where our food came from. I love that I know the farmers, what their beliefs are in growing, and that I’m supporting that.
With that, I can’t believe how spoiled I’ve become. I look forward to our CSA newsletter in my inbox every week, and I practically jump Roo when he comes back to our apartment with the cute, green reusable grocery bag, overflowing with produce. I’ve considered signing up for a winter CSA, but looking at what we’ll receive for “New England Style” produce makes me hesitate. Roo doesn’t like beets and squash, and that’s unfortunately a majority in the share. Conundrum, people.
Anyways, onto what we received.
This week we have:
Red cabbage, celery, green (and one red) peppers, pac choi, a sweet potato, butternut squash, kennebec potatoes, tatsoi and swiss chard.
Roo hates very little things in life, but he does not like sweet potatoes (unless they’re in cake) and butternut squash. I’ve made soup with the squash before, which I loved, but Roo deemed it “too squashy.” What???
I usually throw the peppers, pac choic, tatsoi and chard into a stir fry but I kind of want to do something else this week.
Also, like most people, I make a slaw out of the red cabbage, but again, I want something different.
What I’ll end up using all this veg for, I really don’t know. Thankfully it’s VeganMoFo so I can creep the blogroll and hopefully find some inspiration.
And with that, I’m throwing out a line and asking my first reader question (I hope someone answers): What would you do with (any) of this (besides what I listed above)?