Odds & Ends
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What’s a CSA?

One of the perks of meeting new foodies and bloggers is getting exposed to all sorts of things you’ve never stumbled upon yourself.  My blogger friend Karis, over at Karis’ Kitchen, opened my eyes up to CSAs, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  When you purchase a CSA share, you receive lots of fresh, local produce, usually on a weekly schedule. I’ve heard about the volume you get on a regular basis from CSAs so I sought out a way to start small and get my feet wet.

That brought me to Growing Power here in Milwaukee.  This wonderful organization is only located about 6-7 minutes from where I work. While most CSAs have you pay up front for the whole season, Growing Power allows you to purchase week to week while also using smaller, local wholesalers to get produce not available locally at a better rate.  I picked up my second bag last week and here’s the haul: pears, apples, oranges, kohlrabi, and collard greens.

 

Not pictured: 2 bananas, butternut squash, cabbage, and jalapenos

All of this for only $9!  I love not knowing what I’m going to get every week and I love the challenge of coming up with ways to use it all–not to mention supporting a local organization focused on healthy eating and getting back to understanding where our food comes from.

In these two weeks I’ve made butternut squash soup (recipe coming tomorrow!), kohlrabi chips, roasted broccoli, and mashed cauliflower as well as having a fresh piece of fruit with breakfast and lunch.

If you’re interested in finding a local CSA or other sources of local produce, check out http://www.localharvest.org/

Do you participate in a local CSA or market basket program?  What’s your favorite fruit or veggie and your preferred way prepare it?

 

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Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.

7 Comments

    • I love the market basket because its starting me out small and seemed like a logical step before a CSA but I still love roaming the West Allis farmers market for things I may need for the week that didn’t make it into my basket :)

  1. It’s so funny how I started the same way, by getting market baskets from Growing Power (granted it was very easy because they’re delivered at work) before becoming a CSA member.

    My CSA box gives me lots of veggies each week, but I still shop the farmers’ markets and farm stands too. That’s where my FoodSaver comes in handy :)

    • What kind of FoodSaver do you have Karis? I have a small one (truly meant for leftovers) and want to get a bigger model.

  2. I love my CSA membership(s). We now do two and I freeze a lot (and can a little) for winter. I love the fact that since the box just appears you have to eat vegetables even when you are tired, or aren’t in a veggie mood, or have a doggie bag, or…

    • The veggie “guilt” has definitely ensured my crisper drawer in the fridge will get emptied 😉

  3. I do two CSAs. I like the fact that they (effectively) force us to eat vegetables even if I am feeling lazy. One of my CSAs grows the best strawberries and if they have any extras for sale I make jam and freeze for winter. But now (after years of figuring out what to do with things) I like everything but fennel.

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