Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cool as CSA Cucumbers

As I sit waiting (again) for documents on this never-ending deal I was checking out some friends' blogs and standard mom blogs I check and it is official - the cool people do CSA ("Community Supported Agriculture"). Dandelion Garden, What a Card, New England Mamas are part of the "in crowd".

I will never be a part of the "in crowd" because: (1) I do not cook; (2) Produce goes bad in my fridge; (3) They give you weird vegetables. I am not a "weird" eater (or, as you foodies prefer, adventurous).

My foodie friend T who has a great blog on restaurants and recipes loves to cook and loves to talk about food. Most days I'd be okay with hooking up an IV of fluids so long as I never felt hungry. I love restaurants but for spending time with friends and interesting wine lists.

How do you feel about the CSA movement - worth it or rip off? Delicious or disaster?


H said...

i don't know what CSA is? :(

Anonymous said...

Community supported agriculture, right?

We get a box of fruits and veggies each week from a place that focuses as much as possible on seasonal, local produce.

T. said...

We did Boston Organics for six months last year and loved it, but we couldn't eat the stuff fast enough before it spoiled - and most of it wasn't local, we found. :-( Tried to do a CSA this year, but all of them were full (at least the ones with Boston pick up locations). I am on a waiting list for two places, but I don't think it's going to happen till next year. I have been trying to go to the Copley farmers market instead.

Thanks for the plug on the blog :-)

H said...

Well, I'll plug for my dad. He serves on the board of the Andover Historical Society (yes, and my mother was the president when i was a toddler- so do we really wonder where I came from) and they do this great farmer's market every saturday morning starting soon through the fall. It's a big hit!

T. said...

I have to tell you Helen, a Saturday farmers market is a rare treat in these parts. I may just have to venture to Andover and check it out! Why are farmers markets always between 12 and 4pm on a Tuesday? Who can go at that time? (forget it, I already know that answer to that one)

Anonymous said...

I don't do CSA, but I have a sunday farmers' market 2 blocks away. It's my weekly salvation. Husband and I go every week as our quality time together and we plan our meals as we walk around and sample things and listen to the local musician and watch cute kids dance around.
The beauty is, even if you're not huge into fancy cooking, with fresh quality ingredients that you get a farmer's market, you let the ingredients do the work. Amazing peaches, amazing corn, heirloom tomatoes, even a cheese stand, and fresh baked bread. You don't need to be Julia Child to make those things into something delicious.

As an added bonus, my health has gotten so much better since I started eatting this way -- we're talking chronic illness issues that just disappeared. I'm guessing my body was trying to tell me that pesticides and preservatives weren't so bueno.

That having been said, I'm hesitant to do the CSA thing. I guess it's the whole "not wanting to give up all control" thing. If all I want is one tomato, I don't want to have stress about how I must use up 12. It's not that I don't know how to do it -- I just might not want to.
If I had a bigger family, or I went in on a box with a few neighbors, maybe.
What it does is forces you out of your comfort zone -- which isn't a bad thing, necessarily.

Gretchen said...

Well, I'd have to say I love being forced out of the box and having the challenge of cooking new things. Like beets - I just had a bunch of them and found i really like roast beets (but not half-roasted, should-have-stayed-in-the-oven beets). My CSA gives me recipe ideas too if I don't want to wing it. But I agree with Einat that often you just let the good produce do all the work. I didn't like peaches until my CSA gave me a bunch and I tried a real, fresh, local peach. I'm now in love and can't get enough.

(Thanks for the blog shout-out!)

T. said...

G, you're so right on the beets. I had never cooked one till I got my first Boston Organics box. Now, LOVE them, especially with some goat cheese and walnuts sprinkled on top! But I never would have sought them out at the grocery store.

Nancy said...

Oh I so had to laugh. I'm so right there with you standing outside the "in" crowd with this one.

What A Card said...

I am an adventurous (i.e., weird :) eater, and I do like to cook. I think those are two necessities to be successful with a CSA.

Having said that, I picked a CSA that is also donates to hunger relief organizations. So if there's something I *know* we don't like, or if I think we won't be able to eat it all, I just don't take it and it'll get donated.

I don't know if Theresa will read this, but I believe the farmer's market in Waltham is on Saturdays. I haven't been for years, but it used to be pretty good.

LauraC said...

Had to come back and comment on the CSA thing. My new CSA delivers to my doorstep and they allow exchanges on ANYTHING. No crazy stuff in the box if I don't want it. I get a box of organic fruits and vegetables delivered to my doorstep for half the price I would pay at Whole Foods!

With two toddlers in the house, I regularly swap out the crazy veggies (kale and beets) for local peaches or tomatoes. I think it's nice to support local farmers and cut down on greenhouse gases. The average piece of food travels 3000 miles to get to your grocery store.

Plus you should see how excited the boys get when new things show up! It's a great way to teach them all about produce.