Everyday Food Blog

let the CSA begin!

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Besides warm weather, outdoor fun, and quality time at the grill, the summer season brings something else exciting: the start of our CSA. CSA's, or Community Supported Agriculture, have been around for a couple decades, but they're gaining popularity nationwide not only because of the growing demand for fresh organic produce, but also due to their cost-effectiveness. Now more than ever these "shares" bought in a local farm provide people with access to unsurpassed fresh produce--it's basically taken from the fields and placed right in your hands! This is the first year a CSA is available in my neighborhood, and I'm splitting a full share, which is great for a family or two couples (half shares are also available). Our initial pick-up consisted mainly of lush, leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, and mustard greens), and a bunch of  vibrant radishes. There was even a big bushel of cilantro thrown into the mix. The lot of vegetables will vary each week, but what better way to eat healthily this summer than to make large, crunchy salads filled with different kinds of veggies? Because CSA's are ever-growing in abundance and demand, try finding one near you! I'll be back with updates about our weekly loot--it's basically a healthful grab bag that's perfect for trying out new recipes.

Do any of you belong to a CSA, and if so, what kinds of produce are a part of your lot?

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Our Upper West Side, New York, CSA

1 Our Upper West Side, New York, CSA

Farm-fresh spinach

2 Farm-fresh spinach

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An abundance of cilantro: Guacamole, anyone?

5 An abundance of cilantro: Guacamole, anyone?

A very large head of lettuce!

6 A very large head of lettuce!

The reddest radishes

7 The reddest radishes

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Comments (4)

  • avatar

    Here on the Connecticut shoreline our farm share started last week. We purchased a full season (June - November) - full share. There's four in our family, including a teenage boy who's always hungry & another hungry child living on his own on a tight budget who visits frequently at dinner time :-)

    Our first week we got green garlic, broccoli, kale, collards, arugula, bibb lettuce, mizuna, swiss chard, & an assortment of radishes(pink, white & purple) as well as a hanging planter with impatiens. We had fresh veggies every night so all we have left are 3 garlic bulbs and a few radishes.

    Today, we're getting cucumbers, spinach, more chard, two kinds of romaine lettuce, collards, a potted ruffled purple basil plant & cherokee purple tomatoes.

    This is our first year in a CSA program and so far we love it. My husband takes a cooler to work and picks our veggies up at lunch time as he's only 5 minutes from the farm. Around here, shares sell out real fast so we were lucky to get into one.

  • avatar

    I just started my CSA as well! This weeks included curly shoots that I was later told are garlic scapes. Do you have an recipes that include this interesting little veggie?

  • avatar

    Tina, I discovered garlic scapes from my CSA last year. There's a wonderful white bean and garlic scape dip recipe that was published in the NY Times in 2008. Search garlic scape on their site (make sure you click 'all results since 1851')and it'll be the first thing that comes up.

  • avatar

    Hi Natalie,
    I belong to the West Side CSA as well. This is my first time joining one - usually they sell out so quickly so I was so glad to find that this one had started up. Look forward to reading more of your blog posts on the CSA experience.

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