Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting the Good Stuff

When my Dad was here earlier last year, he wanted to know what the 'CSA Shares Available' sign meant at the farm near my in-laws' house. We looked up CSA Shares on Wikipedia when we got home, and we found out that it meant this:

Community-supported agriculture (in Canada Community Shared Agriculture) (CSA) is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. CSAs usually consist of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit in a vegetable box scheme, sometimes including dairy products and meat. (from Wikipedia)
Andrew and I thought this would be something we would like to do. We do eat a lot of fresh vegetables - my in-laws have a large garden, and we have a mini one ourselves with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs - but there is a lot of stuff that we just have never tried to grow. We went into Highland Orchards today to ask about their CSA Shares Program, and found out it costs $165 for the quarter (March - June), and we could pick up a small bag each week (it was more for the large bag). They showed us what was in the small bag - and let me assure you, it wasn't small. It was the size of a grocery bag, and this week's bag had potatoes, apples, kale, spaghetti squash, and some herbs. We signed up for the small bag - although we think that for the summer quarter we may upgrade to the large bag because there are many more things harvested in the summer.


"Don't we look well fed?"


These chickens are eating more colourful vegetables than most people I know!

I really like the idea of CSA bag - the farms (they have two locations - one in DE and the other in PA) use organic methods, and you are getting what is grown on the farms. I like that I will be getting what is in season and what I cook will largely be dictated by what is in season. And top of that, I am sure we will be trying things I have never had before - like the kale that is in this week's bag. Can anyone tell me how you cook kale?


Terilee said...

Ask Grandma - she loves kale. CSA sounds cool - we have an organic bakery in town which also offers once a month organic fruit/veggie bags. I think it's about $5/month & I've been meaning to look into it. Thanks for the inspiration :)

Batty said...

CSAs are cool. It's important to do research and meet the farmer in person -- and talk to people who have done this before. But it can be an awesome experience. Yummy food, and you support local farming, it's great.

tara said...

I had a red lentil soup recipe this week that asked for kale.
They had this in victoria and the box came with recipes for the veggies. And they delivered.

Bezzie said...

CSAs around here are great---if you're unemployed or don't have children. You have to take one day and volunteer to sort the boxes. Which is fine--but you have to do it at like 3:00 p.m. on a Wednesday.

I'll stick to the farmers' market.

Mom said...

steam the asparagus .....add it to stir frys.... chop and add to soups, potatoes or whatever you like.... it's one of the 'everything' veggies....
Love & Hugs

kemtee said...

I make a great kale/sausage/potato soup. Or sauté with onions and garlic. But then the Italian in me goes for the greens however she can get 'em.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jo, Good for you! Kale is good steamed. and it is also very good for your eyesight. Love Auntie.

Suzanne said...

I'm surprised no one has suggested baked kale chips yet! They are a real treat. I like this recipe:

My LJ friend Kathryn posted a really great kale salad recipe, too:

Zonda said...

Sorry no help with the kale. I'd love to find one of these locally. What a great way to get fresh veggies :) Enjoy!

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