Recently I've been thinking about our CSA because it will be ending in the next couple of weeks and we'll be once again buying all of our produce from the grocery store for close to four months....not that there is anything wrong with that. But, participating in my third CSA (summer 2010, summer 2011, winter 2011-12) has given me a lot to chew on. hardy har har. So I made a list of reflections.
1. I value local food more.
Now I've always enjoyed fresh food but after enjoying the CSA and its bounty I think more about where my food is from. I also happen to live in a small town that has an intense focus on local/organic/farmer-food, so it's also a cultural thing around these parts. I do think that the CSA has me more in tune with how far my food has traveled. Having said this I'm not hypersensitive about it but I do think more about it than before.
2. In-season food tastes better.
This is a bit of a no-brainer but it's true and the CSA throws it in my face all the time. As much as I crave fresh tomatoes I refrain from purchasing them this time of year because likely they will be fairly tasteless. However, this time of year I am longing for zucchini or eggplant and sometimes I give in and buy it but most of the time I stick to my dark greens and root vegetables that come standard in the CSA. It can get a little monotonous but that's how it goes.
3. Sometimes it's boring.
Or not what I'm in the mood to eat. I've never consumed so many white potatoes. Quick sidebar, white potatoes can get a bad rap but actually preparation is key because they are good for you too in moderation of course. There are times when I see what is in the box for the week and loudly sigh with boredom. Then I suck it up and toss the 10 new potatoes into the growing box of potatoes.
4. I love trying new vegetables.
Ok, so maybe not always lest I forget the beet challenge of 2011. But I won! Beyond my beet challenge I've been exposed to lots of cool vegetables I otherwise would not have tried. I'm so glad that I did because I've loved the experience.
5. I'm racing to keep up with the food.
Seriously. Remember how I said Joel and I had not been out to dinner in four months? Yeah, it's bonkers. There are worse problems. The upside is I have loads of frozen brussels sprouts as well as prepared veggies on the ready when my train of fresh veggies ends later this month.
6. Organic food spoils faster???
Clearly, this is not a lesson learned but it does raise questions for me. I get the CSA on Thursday and by Saturday the dark greens are looking worse for wear. Because of trying to keep up with the amount of food we get can be a marathon there have been casualties but mostly I'm able to save the veggies. Plus Joel doesn't believe in throwing food away so he'll sometimes gulp down food before I have the chance to toss it.
7. I want a garden!
8. I will miss the CSA.
I will miss opening the box every week to inspect our goods. I will also miss not having to think too hard about my produce picks because they've been picked for me. But mostly, I'll miss the fresh and delicious veggies grown in my own back yard (practically).
There you have it. My Top 8 reflections on my CSA. In the next few weeks and months there will be sign ups available for CSAs and I would highly recommend anyone to think about supporting a CSA. It helps local farmers and keeps your business local and the food is so fresh and delicious.