Monday, August 25, 2014

Who participated in a CSA

Hello Everyone!
Rise and Shine and get ready for the week ahead! Last week of August ... wow... and then it is September (great month by the way .... birthday month!!) ... and then it is Christmas before we know it.

I had an AMAZING weekend with family and friends in Indianapolis, but I am going to post about that on Wednesday ... so I can have more time to write about it.

For now - I wanted to pop in and share about my experience participating in a CSA.
I shared a bit about a CSA in this blog post, but in summary CSA stands for Community Support Agriculture.
Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

CSAs help the farmers because they receive payment early in the season, which helps with their cash flow. The consumer benefits because they get exposed to new produce and get to eat ultra fresh, local veggies.

Ann Arbor has a lot of different farms that do CSAs, so it was hard to choose, but B and I chose a lesser known, smaller farm that had a very affordable price and an easy pickup location.

We have been getting our produces boxes for about 8 weeks now and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the process!

Lessons Learned and Thoughts About Participating in a CSA 

  • Kale is very good for you ... but there is such a thing as too much kale
    • B and I got kale in our box for about 5 weeks in a row, and man... we were both pretty sick of kale! We sauteed it, massaged it, baked it, made kale chips, and froze it for soups. I won't be picking a kale salad at any restaurants for awhile.
  • A lot of kale (and veggies) can wreck havoc on your stomach
    •  B and I have always been pretty healthy eaters, and before the CSA, we usually ate a salad with most of our dinners ... but once we started our CSA, a large portion of our dinners were veggies - and very fiber-filled veggies. This sudden influx in fiber did not go over well with my stomach.
Squash and green beans galore!
  • You get weird ingredients and then you make weird things?  
    • This part has been pretty fun! I like when we get "new to me" ingredients like kohlrabi (after trying it a few ways ... gross!), garlic scapes, turnip greens, and more. We had no idea what to do with the garlic scapes, so after a little research - I decided to make garlic scape pesto. Actually - it was pretty good. The baba ghanoush I made with eggplant ... not so much.

  • You can roast basically anything ... and it usually tastes pretty good!
    • When we got anything unusually - I just chopped it up and sprinkled it with olive oil and garlic and stuck it in the oven to roast ... and after being caramelized - it was usually delicious! Exception - radishes ... always gross.
  • You will google image search leafy greens to figure out what you are eating!
    • Each week we pick up our box of veggies with no other information. I wish our CSA farm provided us a list of all of the veggies that are in our box, because there has been a few times that we get something and have no idea what it is? We are google searching images of green leafy veggies to figure out what we are putting into our mouth (and the best way to cook it).

We still have a few weeks left in our CSA, and I hope to get some fall squash, like butternut or acorn! Overall, I think it has been a really fun experience, but it does add a little pressure to dinners every week because you want to make sure you use all of the veggies that you get.
I am not 100% sure we will do it next year, but I am glad we did it this year!

Have any of you done a CSA? What is the weirdest veggies you have ever eaten? 

1 comment:

  1. We love raw radishes in salads! They go best with asian dressings to cut the spiciness.



I am not a registered dietitian (yet). My blog is simply a snapshot of my everyday life. The views I express are mine alone, based on my own experiences, and should not be taken as medical advice. Though I am a certified fitness instructor, the workouts I post may not be right for you. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.