Monday, November 9, 2015

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

My CSA produce share for week #1
I am so excited! I finally took the plunge and joined a local CSA! It's only been one week and I'm already kicking myself for not joining one sooner. For those of you not familiar with a CSA, it stands for Community Supported/or Shared Agriculture. A CSA connects people with a local farm and offers the opportunity to purchase fresh produce through a member share. Members purchase or buy a "share" for the season and pick-up their produce at a nearby distribution site. To learn more information on CSA's please click here.

There are so many wonderful local CSA's to choose from.  I chose Native Offerings Farm, located in Little Valley, NY, because I am most familiar with them. I've been buying their vegetables from the Bidwell Farmers Market for years. Plus, the boys and I also volunteered on their farm for the day helping to harvest the crops, packing vegetables and even feeding the pigs (which was of course the boys favorite farm duty!). So I knew first hand that Native Offerings Farm is top notch and the right pick for me and my family. See our pictures below of the day we volunteered on the farm.

My food impressions of the CSA so far:  Native Offerings Farm has an incredible selection of produce with such a wide variety. Their produce is all organic and everything has tasted super fresh. I joined their "season extension share" which runs for about 6 weeks and I am able to enjoy their late fall/early winter harvest. The cost for my share was $200.00 which is a great price in my opinion given it's all organic and it's the freshest produce I could buy. There are different share sizes depending on how large your family is. I chose a "small" share which is supposed to feed 2-3 people for the week. The small share isn't that small in my opinion. The small share consists of 12 pounds of root vegetables and greens…it's feeding my hungry family of 5 just fine so far. Since it was my first week of picking up my share I wasn't sure what to expect. My pick-up location was at a church on Symphony Circle. Luckily I remembered to bring a market tote to carry my produce home. I thought I was going to just run in and grab a share with my name on it….that wasn't that wasn't the case. I was able to choose what I wanted based on my share size. It was hard to decide what to pick so I just took a little of this and a little of that. There were so many vegetables that I have never even seen or heard of before. Like black radishes, dinosaur kale or butter beets, say whaaaat???  I can't wait to try some of these unique vegetables. I also grabbed herbs, arugula, potatoes, pears, carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, leeks, peppers and a lot more.  I am so excited to share some farm-to-table recipes with you from my farm share.  Just this weekend I made Butternut Squash Risotto, a Tuscan Chicken Stew, mashed potatoes, Chicken Milanese, and Pear Crisp. So stay tuned for these delicious recipes and more!

Salute to me finally taking the plunge in joining a CSA and making many delicious recipes chock full of veggies!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully informative article & great pics (the eggplant & the last one are my faves)! Can't wait to see what you have in store recipe-wise! And, yes, black radishes?? Super cool.