Thursday, June 27, 2013

CSA Week 1

We I signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) this summer.  Kevin was against it.  In fact, he vetoed the idea twice.  The third time I brought up the idea he was resigned and said something along the lines of "you are going to do what you are going to do and it will all work out in the budget anyway." I took that as resounding permission and signed up! So excited!

Kevin has a bad association with CSAs because the one I did while we lived in Alaska involved a lot of kale.  We got kale kale kale and more kale.  Neither of us are really fans of kale.  I made kale lasagna once to use some of it and I guess... I suppose... more of the kale ended up in the pieces I served Kevin.  He has never forgotten how I tried to unload all the kale on him and has a negative association with CSAs.

The one I decided to try this year is a collective of many farms (rather than a true CSA where you support one farm) so I feel like we are better hedging our bets.  We should get a greater variety of food. The first week was last week and it runs 16 weeks.  With a CSA you pay upfront (so the farmers have a chunk of money at the beginning of the season) and get a share of the season.  It worked out to be $20/week.  I'm going to use this space as a way to remember what we got, what we used (vs. wasting) and whether it was overall worth $20/week.

Week 1:

We got lettuce, garlic scapes, swiss chard, beets (with greens), strawberries, scallions, and wait for it... kale.  I gave my kale away to a random person at the farmer's market.  I knew I couldn't come home with kale on the first week, Kevin's impression of the share would be forever ruined.

Here is what we did with it:

Lettuce and strawberries:  Strawberry and lettuce salad.  We also ate the strawberries fresh and froze some.

Garlic scapes and scallions: We've been using them as we otherwise would use garlic and onions. I love scapes, especially roasted.  They taste somewhat like garlic but when roasted are almost sweet.  The season is very short (and right now) so you should go get some right away.

Chard: sauteed with scapes and eaten with lamb biryani. 
Beets: sweets and beets with scallions and scapes (roasted - yum!)
Beet greens: sauteed with scapes and scallions and added to chicken curry.

Thrown away: 0% (so far). If the scapes and the scallions look like they will go bad before we use them I plan to freeze them to add to soups over the winter.

Was it worth $20?  Probably not (although it might be close), even though it was all organic.  But it is the beginning of the season and runs through October.  I expect some weeks will be worth a lot more than $20 to even out the early weeks.  There are also some intangibles that I should factor in, first being that it brings me a lot of joy.  I love going to the farmer's market to pick up my share.  I love supporting local small farms who practice sustainable agriculture.  It also provides us more variety.  If I had been buying a la carte at the farmer's market I probably would not have picked up swiss chard but we both enjoyed it alongside the lamb biryani.  So the verdict is still out.

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