This is the last week of the regular CSA season. I've really enjoyed my summer/fall with my CSA. At times, finishing all of the food I got was a bit stressful, but overall it was a great experience. Such a good experience that I signed up for the Winter CSA today. However, the CSA experience is not without its drawbacks as well. Simply Life beat me to it, but I'm going to post the pros and cons of my CSA experience anyway. I had already planned to. What can I say? Great minds think alike.
- I tried all sorts of foods and combinations of foods that I never would have picked up on my own. I'm an adventurous eater, but I don't really walk by gooseberries at the Greenmarket and think "I need these right now! I'm going to make something awesome!" And up until now I thought I hated bok choy.
- I've expanded my repertoire of recipes and techniques for cooking. I definitely have favorite recipes that I make over and over again, but when zucchini comes your way for 10 weeks in a row, there are only so many times you can eat zucchini fritters (no matter how delicious).
- I've become more creative with my cooking, learning how to substitute the fresh, seasonal, local vegetables that have come my way for what is in a recipe. Sometimes I end up with a totally different result than what whoever wrote the recipe intended, but it's always delicious.
- I've learned a lot about what grows locally for me and when it grows. Eating locally is fun, and knowing where your food comes from is a great thing, especially with all of the news about contaminated food lately. I've also learned how weather patterns (including hurricanes) affect agriculture. If tomato crops were totally destroyed by the hurricane and I can't get them locally, well, I probably shouldn't be eating them.
- Starting this blog. It's been a great way to turn my passion for food and cooking into something I can share. And I've "met" a few very cool people through their blogs and their comments on mine. I don't care if fewer than 20 people read this regularly, I've had a great time.
- Occasionally, eating all of the food before it went bad was a bit stressful. At one point, I was bringing bunches of dill instead of flowers when I went to over to someone's apartment for dinner and having minor panic attacks about the carrots
- Some of my seasonal favorites never came my way. I ate so little eggplant this year that it was just sad. There weren't any cherries. I haven't seen one spaghetti squash.
- Sometimes you forget there's half a head of cabbage in your crisper drawer. For three weeks. That's all I'm really going to say about that.
I think the good really outweighs the bad here. I'm really excited to continue the CSA (and the blog) into the winter. I'll be getting 3-5 lbs of storage vegetables, up to 2 bags of local, organic frozen vegetables and cooking and salad greens as the weather allows. I'll also be getting eggs, cheese, and yogurt. I opted not to do the apple share. I love apples, but 10-12 lbs ever two weeks for 12 weeks...I'd rather get just what I need at the Greenmarket. Plus, I have so many canned fruits in the pantry from the summer. I want to make sure I use those up. The first distribution is in two weeks, and then every two weeks thereafter until February 6th.
This week's haul:
1.5 lbs sweet potatoes
1 butternut squash
1.5 lbs carrots
1 Napa cabbage
2 heads garlic
2 heads broccoli
1 bunch baby bok choy
2 baby heads of lettuce
2 lbs Braeburn apples
2 lbs Golden Delicious apples
Time to go run all of the errands I need to for the weekend. I'll be trapped in my apartment by the NYC Marathon tomorrow. Maybe this will lead to some baking, reading, and work on my final project for the class I'm taking. Or maybe we'll just watch reruns of Ally MacBeal from Netflix...