Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why I love CSAs

This summer my neighbor and I shared a staple in a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program.  Every week she would get a delivery of veggies, and every week we would divide the spoils.

Over the course of 20 weeks, we shared green beans, spring mix, green onions, watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, various herbs and peppers, and a loaf of fresh-made bread.

There were a number of great things about participating in a CSA.  Aside from helping local farmers, it gave me a reason to visit with my neighbor one day a week.

Some people, I'm sure, might sign on and then never actually eat the produce, but I HATE to waste money, so whatever I received, I used.  I made many, many loaves of zucchini bread, which I have sitting in my freezer for the winter.  I sliced banana peppers into our salads.  I made shepherd's pie on a few occasions when I only had enough green beans to use as part of a casserole.

Since the produce was cooked, it was also eaten, which means I have been consuming oodles and caboodles of veggies since May.

These past 4-5 weeks or so, I have been participating in another CSA through my husband's workplace. This one is a bigger operation, which means I have gotten some seasonal fruits as well.  I have made crockpot applesauce a couple of times.  I have made cushaw bread and pumpkin pie.  Last week I made a superfantabulous butternut squash casserole that simply rocked my world.  When N was off of school on Monday for teacher workshops, she and I took the kernels off a popcorn pone and made "real" popcorn.

Tonight I am making Greek cabbage rolls.  I have cooked a bunch of red potatoes to make potato salad using my MIL's recipe.  I just steamed some greens which I will eat with a really good teriyaki sauce I purchased recently.   

I generally don't like to cook, but it has been fun to find new recipes.  I have been wanting to make sweet beet cookies to see if the kids will eat them, and today we are getting a bundle of beets.  I never thought I would be excited to know I'll be getting beets.

Under any other circumstances, I think this would render me completely lame.  But by helping local farmers, I think it makes me uber-cool!

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