Have you ever been part of a CSA? I signed up suuuper late but was still able to do it and I couldn’t be more excited! I got my first box last Thursday and I’m in love.
If you’ve never heard of a CSA, it stands for Community Shared Agriculture. You (usually) sign up for a share in spring and pay up front for the whole season, investing in and supporting a local farm. Once the season starts, you are delivered a box full of fresh, local and often organic vegetables and sometimes fruits each week! Certain farms offer a bi-weekly share if every week is too much, or offer a small share, which is what I am doing. There are also some really unique options starting to spring up – jam and pickle shares, cheese shares, egg shares, sometimes even honey or meat or coffee shares! It is such an awesome, convenient, and fun way to support local farmers, eat healthy and often save some money. For me all the veggies I can possibly eat once a week from now until October is running me $21 per week. The farm I signed up with grows sustainable and organic, and they deliver to a site 3 blocks from my apartment. It is totally cool.
One of the best parts of having a CSA share is that you never quite know what you’re going to get in this week’s box. It makes for trying some new things (which I love) and getting creative finding ways to consume all of these awesome nutritious foods before the week is done. I have a guilty secret: I am a chronic food waster. It’s an accident, but I get lazy and instead of cooking with the ingredients I have I just desperately end up at Q’doba. Neither my body or my wallet appreciates this and it’s so wasteful! I’m determined not to let that happen with my weekly supply.
This week I’ve been finding simple ways to eat up all of this goodness! For example:
- Pre-washing, cutting and mixing up my own salad mix from the spinach, butter lettuce and some other type of green I was provided. I have a huge tupperware in my fridge with salad mix for the whole week.
- Slicing up radishes and salad turnips to put on my salads or eat with dip as a snack.
- Homemade mashed potatoes to use up some (grocery store) potatoes that have been sitting a little too long, mixed with sauteed green garlic from my box. Never had green garlic and I love it!
- Slicing up the not-so-nice tips from the green garlic, the greens from the radishes and turnips, and the stems from some cilantro, bagging it up and preserving it in the freezer to use for future vegetable broth.
- Oven roasting broccoli with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Who ever thought broccoli couldn’t be addicting?
- Making up some salads ahead of time along with some diced chicken so I can just grab and go in the morning.
AND a few weeks ago I bought a teeny, pretty compost bin to keep on the counter. It’s so satisfying to put any scraps I can’t use into the compost knowing it won’t be wasted! One of the university buildings a few blocks away has a compost collection bin, since I don’t have a yard yet to prepare my own compost. GOALS.
What are some fun, interesting ways you have found for eating, preserving and not wasting your fruits and veggies? Have you ever been part of a CSA?