Thursday, May 17, 2007

20 Days Until My CSA!!!

I'm sure some or most of you know what a CSA is, but I'll tell you anyway! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Imagine your monthly magazine subscriptions were weekly, and... imagine that they were made of vegetables! Local, farm-raised, often organic (or close), friendly, happy vegetables. Mine starts first week in June and runs through mid-September. The trick with it is that you pay for your share of vegetables long before you get them. Paying early enables the farm to go out and get the seeds and supplies they need get going. You are investing in your summer's share of veggies early.

Once the CSA starts, you have a few options. You can pick your share up at the farm, you can pick it up at a drop-off site, or you can have your share delivered to your home. The choices tend to depend more on the CSA itself, but considering I had about half a dozen to choose from, you can find a CSA that works for you. You can also get fruit shares or egg shares or meat shares... but we started small with the mini-share of vegetables. If this little experiment works out, I'm hopeful that we'll go bigger next year.

Aside from the charm of knowing exactly where my veggies are coming from, and helping local farmers do what they enjoy (I hope!), what I really like about this CSA stuff is that we'll get to learn how to eat more seasonally. I know, I know, summer is its own season.... but I paid more attention last year, and actually noticed when fruits and veg started and vanished from my farmer's market.. and something about that fascinated me. Nah, I won't go canning or freezing for the winter or anything... but I think it will be more than fun to watch the steady change in my deliveries as the weeks pass, and I look forward to learning to cook some of the vegetables that I've never before handled.

If this sounds like fun to you, too, check out LocalHarvest.com to find a CSA near you!

And this past weekend, I finally planted all my plants - tons of peppers, a couple of tomato plants, tasty herbs - and I have more seedlings still making their way (tomatillos, dark opal purple basil, cilantro and giant parsley). I've since weathered the seedlings (they were still inside when I took the picture above) so they're outside with the big boys now.

I am, sadly, really really bad with plants. I love them, I do, but the remembering to water them before they shrivel up part... boy, do I stink. Last summer went a little better, and I'm more invested in the plants this go-round, and my darling husband loves to nag me about them ("Have you watered the plants? When was the last time you watered those? Are you trying to kill them???") (Ahhh, looooove), so I'm hopeful that in a few weeks, I'll have the beginnings of some peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos, plus an array of tasty herbs.

(I won't get into it, but I'm also really excited about the seeds from Seed Savers - I've linked you to their About Us page, so go check them out.)

3 comments:

Barbara said...

What a great idea. You can buy wine on a similar scheme but it's the first time I've heard of buying veggies this way.

Brooke said...

Hey Katie, I too am getting my first CSA in the first week of June!! I am so excited :) Which farm are you getting your produce from....just curious as we are nearly neighbours!

JennDZ said...

FUN! I used to be part of a CSA - it helped me get really creative with pumpkin one year!