Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Monday, June 22, 2009

CSA Madness

Earlier this year, I joined a CSA.  Unless you're from a crazy place like California you've probably never heard of one.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which still doesn't explain exactly what a CSA is either.  In a CSA, you pay a lump sum to a farmer at the beginning of a growing season and every week you receive a share of the farmers crop.  Most farmers set up trades with other farmers, so your share isn't 15 pounds of kale, but is more a mix of fruits and vegetables.   And our farmer wisely set up a trade with a local bakery, so we always get some fabulous baked good using the fruits and vegetables from the farm.  

The theory is this is a win-win.  The consumer gets access to high quality, locally grown, seasonally fresh produce.  The farmer knows his revenue early in the season and can better plan his crops.  The environment wins because locally grown produce is locally consumed and not transported across the country.

In my case, the farm is within five miles of my house, on Foothill Rd. for those familiar with the city where I live.  Every Wednesday I pick up a load of fresh produce.  The catch is I have no say in what kinds of fruits and vegetables I receive.  I get what I get and I don't pitch a fit--for the kids, this has been a bit of a learning. 

Since our season started the first week of June, I've received peaches, nectarines, pluots, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, cauliflower, onions, shallots, garlic, squash, mint, rosemary, thyme and other things I know I'm forgetting.  I have had to adjust to having my vegetables and not buying anything else.  I'm learning to cook some new things.

It's also come with some challenges:  so what to do with 2 lbs of pluots when both girls refuse to eat them?  (The answer: pluot tarts that are to die for.)   It's come with some victories:  the Magster actually ate swiss chard and liked it.  La Nina ate two nectarines, but that isn't shocking..she's a good fruit and veggie eater.  

From my perspective, it's been a win.  I'm enjoying the spontaneity of cooking with farm fresh ingredients.  And we're all getting spoiled.  The flavor of this food is really spectacular.  We're eating more fruits and veggies than ever earlier in the season than ever before.  And now, we're scoping out the egg CSA also offered by our farm.  A dozen fresh eggs a week for 10 weeks.  Hmmmm, I may be making the trip to the farm a second day a week.


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