Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The veggie fairy came!

Ok, after this, I'll stop talking about food for awhile, I promise.
Last Friday my first CSA box showed up on my doorstep, and I couldn't be happier with what I found inside:  3 lbs. of mandarin oranges, a bulb of fennel, some broccoli, bunches of bok choy, turnips, leeks, and spinach, a butternut squash, and a couple of kiwis.  Now, granted, I only really know what to do with about half of this stuff, but I'm looking forward to experimenting with the unfamiliar ingredients, as well as seeing what I can get my somewhat picky boyfriend to eat.

As I mentioned in a previous post, "CSA" stands for "community supported agriculture."  A CSA box is exactly what it sounds like:  a container full of produce from local farms.  You can sign up for these on a subscription or membership basis, and they get delivered right to your house or business.  You will have to check and see what is available in your area.  Here is a good site to get you started (you can also look up farms, farmer's markets, co-ops, etc.):

The CSA box I get comes from Farm Fresh To You, which is mostly fed by Capay Farm, 80 miles northeast of San Francisco.  All of the produce I get comes from either that farm or 4 or 5 surrounding farms, all completely organic.  For now I'm only getting a regular-sized box delivered once a month until I see how that goes.  There are different types of boxes you can have delivered, too:  some are all fruit or all vegetables, one is 50/50, and the one I get is mostly vegetables with just a little bit of fruit that's in season.  The price is between $2- $2.50 a pound, including delivery, which is fantastic for organic produce.  Also, the boxes are customizable.  You can go online and request that certain items never be delivered to you, or you can pick and choose what you want to have more or less of in your upcoming delivery, which gets posted ahead of time.

All in all, I'm really glad I made the decision to get a CSA box.  It's already making me eat more vegetables in my diet, because I open the fridge, and there they are just waiting for me to do something with them.  I'm also trying new recipes, like the shabu-shabu and the stir fry I made with the bok choy and the spinach.  And let's not forget, of course, how much I care about supporting local organic farms.  Through the CSA, I can do that, and they help me eat in accordance with the seasons. And I don't need to do anything but pay the bill once a month and have fun cooking.

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