CSA's, your take?


This summer was the first year John and I have ever tried a CSA. The season is almost over and I feel like we learned a bunch. For starters I tried some new veggies I never had before, kohrabi anyone? And discovered we both loved it! I also learned that this specific CSA needs to cut back on the copious amount of zucchini and squash and up the quantities of other things. Man, I never want to see another zucchini for months!!

Although from what I hear ALL CSA's seem to have a zucchini overload issue! A friend was just telling me about how when she lived in Maine people were always trying to give away their overflow of zucchini and if you weren't carful and left your kitchen window open you'd end up with zucchini in your sink! LOL Hilarious if you ask me! I keep picturing neighbors under the cover of night stuffing zucchini through windows, love it!

Have you tried a CSA? Do you like it? Do you feel like you get the same things almost every week and get sick of it? I never realized how much I enjoyed picking up the veggies I wanted at the local market instead of being told, here's what you get. Don't get me wrong I think the concept of CSA's are amazing, I love supporting local agriculture.. but I have a feeling next year I may just need to make a mandatory stop at the farmers market to pick up what I'm feeling like that week.

In the end the CSA met my goal for this summer: make john and myself eat more veggies. Goal completed! The new goal is to keep eating more veggies, but on our own schedule :)

What are all of your thoughts?

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14 chews:

Jeanne said...

When I lived in Cali my BFF and I tried 2 CSAs. We loved one, hated the other. We had the same problem. What do you do with the same veggies week after week!? And what do you do if you get something  you hate? Like fennel. (Not my fav.) But we were part of another CSA that we LOVED. It was great. It was 5 or so farms together and each week we got to choose what we wanted to get. So we could totally mix it up. ... but maybe this arrangement was more like a farmers market. only they came to us, rather than the other way around. 
Side note: you think it's possible to freeze grated zucchini to put into muffins later? Probably not, eh? I've never head of anyone doing it...

Gourmetonadiet said...

We don't have one that's close enough for pickup for it to be convenient, so we tried Door-To-Door Organics last year, which is kind of the same idea and is available nationally, but we only did it once...honestly, I don't remember why, but I think it just came down to the fact (agreeing with you) that you can pick what you want at the market, you don't feel forced to use it all up because another box is coming, and with a young baby at the time, I wanted more things that he could eat, too (mashed up, etc). It's also not that cheap! :(

Leslie said...

We use Mud Creek CSA in Victor.  You have to go to the farm to pick up the veggies, but then you also get a lot of pick your own "bonus" items that are really awesome.  I love it.  It seriously makes my week when I go to the farm. 

The first year we didn't know what to expect and to be honest a lot went to waste and spoiled.  This year, I knew what to expect, and some things still went to waste  (like eggplant that I just never got around to using because we don't like it) but we have been much better about preserving and eating stuff.  I'm going to try to live off the farm veggies all winter, if I can.  I froze a bunch of zucchini, made pickles, froze pesto, and plan on freezing carrots and string beans, and canning salsa and sauce.... 

Huh very interesting idea! I may need to look into that! But you are so right the price can sometimes be daunting!

Ok you are way better than I am if you can survive on the veggies all winter! Do you know if you can grate and freeze zuchini like Jeanne was suggesting?? I wish I had known the answer a few weeks ago LOL. I hate having things go to waste! Your list of things sounds wicked impressive! Great job!

Leslie said...

Yep, it is possible to freeze zucchini and summer squash.  You need to wash and blanch it first, and it will be mushy when you defrost it, but it will be fine for baking and cooking.  I've got a few zukes left that I should try to do that with.  (a good online tutorial is here: http://www.pickyourown.org/freezing_summer_squash.htm)

Its unlikely that I'll be able to get 100% of my veggies for the winter through the CSA, but I figure I'll try for as many as I can...

Tracy said...

Well, our CSA hasn't done well at all this year, so I'm a bit jealous of your zucchini overload problem LOL! Last year, I was able to can a lot of what we got and use it throughout the year, but this year there just hasn't been much available that we haven't immediately devoured in the first couple days. Plus, after the success of last year we invited friends to join us this year, and I've felt terrible that we haven't gotten much at all so I feel like I spoiled the CSA for them. :-( I'm thinking the same as you...may just be picking up what I want from local farmer's markets next year!

Rachel said...

I have not tried a CSA but I really, really want to! I don't care - give me all your zucchini!

ooo so good to know! THANK YOU!

It's so true this year was probably not the best to join one with the crazy weather. Sorry to hear yours hasn't produced very much for you :( Either way you do it though it's still helping support the local farms!

LOL if you had been around here I totally would have shared!

Ashley said...

I have frozen grated zucchini before. It gets mushy (as Leslie said), but that's fine for zucchini muffins/bread. I don't think I even bothered blanching it.

I never blanch it when I use it in muffins so I was wondering if I could get away with not doing it when freezing! Great to know thank you!

Tamara Manning said...

This was our first year with a CSA, and we actually did not join until the very end of the season. Actually, we picked up week 2 yesterday. The big one we have is green peppers! But we love those, and they freeze well, so I am happy about that! And we've also gotten HUGE bok choy both weeks. I have no idea what to do with it all! And I never knew how big they were in real life, so that's been a fun surprise. I am trying to figure out the whole CSA vs Farmer's Market for next year... so much to think about!


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