Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Love My CSA

This is a giant radish we got in our community-supported agriculture (CSA) box a couple of weeks ago - just one of many reasons I love getting a big box of fresh veggies every other week. You'd never find a radish like this in a store, nor would it be quite so fresh. Hooray Circle M Farm!

Spousal Unit and I have gotten three of our ten summer boxes now, and I'm pretty happy with our choice thus far. How many CSAs let you go to the farm and work off what you owe for the veggies? We've gone once, with friends, and it was so cool to know we helped pick the sugar snap peas that came back to us - almost like when I went to Grandma and Grandpa's, picked a bucket of berries, and came back to the house to eat them over fresh biscuits. Sorry, CSA, but no matter how awesome you get, nothing beats the food my grandpa grows.

On top of that were all the animals we got to see. I miss my days on the alpaca ranch sometimes, and it was nice to see fuzzy critters again.

A little calf nomming Kaelin's hand/arm 

One of these fuzzballs came home with me! 

(No goats were harmed in the taking of this picture. 
Or after. At least, not because of that orange cord. 
I'm not sure if this guy is a meat goat.)

More people should partake of CSAs, I think. It's an all-around win: you know the farmer who grew your food, sometimes you get to help, money stays in the community, and you get farm-fresh veggies straight out of the ground, often pesticide-free.

Ours gave us a choice between a smaller or a larger box. Being vegetarians, we chose the larger one, and I'm glad we did. I recently cooked with turnips for the first time ever, too - and I decided I love them. I made them scalloped, like potatoes, and they tasted incredible. Why would I ever make them with potatoes again, when something like turnips gives them much more flavor? On top of that, I used the whole turnip to make them, greens and all. What an incredible veggie.

Of course, not everything's always a win. I've learned that I hate cilantro, much to Spousal Unit's dismay, and so I don't really use it, except for salsa. And his eggs. But these situations can be positive, too - give it away or trade something you won't use when you pick up your share. Pass it on to a friend who can't get enough of it.

You will have plenty of other noms to make your shares worth it.

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