13 September 2007

CSA Week 15

You may well be weary of my vegetable lists. But, I'm not really doing it for you - I'm doing it for me. This list-making is my way of keeping track of what we've gotten from the CSA. At the end of the season, I plan to do a little economic analysis. My sense is that this has been a good deal financially - that overall this way of getting our produce is cheaper than it would have been to buy all this stuff at the supermarket, farmstands, and greenmarket like we've done in past summers. There is no question that the quality has been amazing. Add to that the fact that the vegetables are local, and that the breadth of variety has been inspirational, and you get a fabulous experience - one that we'll happily repeat - though maybe without the weekly blog entries!

In addition, posting these lists is my little subtle proselytizing for the CSA movement. CSA stands for community sponsored (or supported) agriculture. In a nutshell, a bunch of people buy shares in a farm. In return for money provided up front, the farm distributes all of its produce to the members. In the case of the farm we belong to, they distribute at 18 pick up sites between Albany and New York City. We pick up at someone's house in the next town. The site is open from 3 to 7 one day a week, and is staffed by one of the members (my turn comes in November). The produce is set out in plastic boxes with hinged lids and there's a list of what's included for the week - how many ears of corn, how much lettuce, etc. You bring your own bags and pack it yourself. Other farms operate slightly differently - I know of some that pack each family's share into a box. Lots let you pick up at the farm.

If you're interested in finding a CSA near you, try Local Harvest or Biodynamics. We had to sign up and pay in the winter, for a share that began in June.

And now, without further ado, here's what we picked up yesterday:

  • Sweet Corn (4)
  • Yukina Savoy (a Chinese cabbage, loose greens)
  • Mei-Ching-Choi (1 head, like bok choi)
  • Broccoli (1 huge head)
  • Beefsteak Tomatoes (3)
  • Juliet Tomatoes (1 pint)
  • Plum Tomatoes (1 quart)
  • Ping Pong Tomatoes (1 quart)
  • String Beans
  • Garlic (2 heads)
  • Red skinned potatoes (1 quart)
  • Sweet Red Italia Peppers (3)
  • Salad Mix
  • Cilantro (but I didn't take any)
  • Arugula
  • Basil

I am secretly thrilled that the expected winter squash did not materialize. I'm sure we'll be seeing more winter squash than I would like to see in a lifetime. Maybe I'll be converted. I'm not holding my breath.


Aliki2006 said...

I'm so glad you posted this--I was just thinking about looking into this today! I ran into a woman earlier in the summer who told me about a local CSA but then forgot to write down the info.

BipolarLawyerCook said...

I miss our CSA. My organic delivery service is good, but impersonal. The farm we used to share in was about a 10 minute walk through conservation land from our house, and we knew the farmer, her partner, the dogs, the chickens, and every inch of ground. There was lots of pick your own, but lots of group activities, too. Bedding the strawberry plants, bunching the garlic to dry, harvesting the tail end of the squash-- it was sometimes a little awkward making small talk for me, but I loved the process of it, and I still have dreams that take place in the barn where we picked up our weekly share.

Blue Zebra said...

Hiya Magpie!

Nice post. I like that you are tracking it and we get to share in it! Just out of curiousity could you tell me how much you paid for your share up front and how many deliveries you get through the season? How long is the season! And do you know absolutely that it's all organic and produced local?! TIA! *mwuah* sweetie!

jo(e) said...

I used to have a CSA and really miss it. Maybe I will have to look into finding another one.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I love these posts. I am STILL jealous of the tomatoes, though. I could eat tomatoes every day of my life... We picked up our CSA bag today (ours is the kind where they pre-bag it for you) & had just half a dozen tomatoes, all small, but we also had purple potatoes and STRAWberries! The strawberries were gone within the hour, alas.

painted maypole said...

thanks for the CSA info (here and in my e-mail!) unfortunately there is not one nearby me. :( You had nearly converted me! Maybe I'll try again to do a vegetable garden, even though this year something else seems to be eating everything before I can get to it.

pinknest said...

i'm so excited by the sweet corn! the times had a really good recipe in last week's dining section.

niobe said...

Is it okay if I say that, while they may be delicious, ping pong tomatoes have a rather unfortunate name?

Anonymous said...

I have so enjoyed your vegetable lists and look forward to the analysis! Thanks for the links. your blogging about it has made me want to try it.

Katie Zeller said...

I like seeing your lists - let's me know what's in season in other parts of the world. I'm glad to see that the CSA's are doing so well. - If you start getting too much winter squash I'll send you some recipes.... to help convert

Binkytowne said...

Oooh. Id like to know what you made with all that goodness.. hopefully some soup for a nice fall day.

Antropóloga said...

You have inspired us...we are looking into it!

You can put winter squash into baked goods at least!