Healthy Green Fun Idea #3
Last year, we joined a CSA for the first time at an organic farm in our town. For those who aren’t familiar, CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and you pay upfront for a share of what the farm grows. Each week, you then get a box filled with whatever is in season that week.
I knew it would be great to have locally-grown organic food. I knew it was more affordable than supermarket organics. What I didn’t realize was how much fun being part of a CSA would be.
We split a full share with two other families. Initially, I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough for everyone. As you can see from the photo below–no worries about that. In our first delivery, we received an ENORMOUS head of Napa cabbage, 2 heads of red leaf lettuce, bags of spinach, mixed greens, watercress, scallions, kale, and something called a spring garlic. We also got a very nice note from the CSA manager letting us know everything was picked this morning, along with recipes. Fortunately, my neighbors also shared great ideas for what one does with a giant napa cabbage and spring garlic.
I’ve met and gotten to know the man who grows our food, Farmer Jim. He has a big tattoo of a beet on his forearm (which might explain the enormous quantity of beets we receive). He gives me flower garden advice, which I always need. One weekend, he took all the kids of CSA members on a tour of the farm.
Another highlight of the CSA was playing “name that vegetable” with my kids. I’d pull something out of the box and they’d have to guess what it was. Their answers had me in tears, especially when my rather sports-addicted son yelled out “tennis ball” when he saw a yellow onion.
I always thought the community support had to do with the financial model. But it’s clearly more than that. A CSA share rebuilds relationships–with the farmer, the farm, the seasons and the food; with neighbors or friends who help you eat (or figure out what to do with) a giant napa cabbage. I knew a CSA would be affordable and delicious. I didn’t realize it would be this fun.
Are you in a CSA? What came in your box? Any recipes or photos to share?