Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This is a picture of our first CSA share of the summer. It includes strawberries, lettuce, kale, spring onions, asparagus, and a garlic scape. In case you don't know, CSA stands for "Community Supported Agriculture," and it is basically a weekly share of produce from a local farm.
Some of you may remember that the past two years we really tried to get into home gardening. Two years ago we dug a garden plot in the back yard of our townhouse, and we were trying to raise enough vegetables and herbs to actually save some money and to supplement our diet with fresher, organic produce.
Then I got pregnant for Baby Gem. A very pregnant woman trying to garden in a very hot summer with a very active 1-1/2 year old was not a recipe for success, especially as I am a novice gardener. I found it very difficult to keep up with the garden, especially as regards harvesting and using all the produce on time. Last summer was also very hot and dry, making what crops we did harvest quite disappointing. Honestly, by August I had pretty much given up on the garden, and of course the baby was born at the end of the month. Gardening was then pretty much the last thing on my mind.
Over the winter, my husband and I talked about what to do this summer. I told him that I come to think that gardening might not be something that was practical at this season of life. In the early spring, when we got a larger tax refund than we expected, the idea occurred to me to try a CSA.
Supporting a local farm in this way is something I have wanted to do for a long time. We ended up deciding on a half share of produce which we pick up from a farm about 30 minutes away. One of the reasons that we picked this farm is that the membership also gives you free admission to the farm (which has many attractions for kids and families) and a weekly U-pick bonus. The CSA runs for 20 weeks, and it is costing us about $22/week. That is probably more then I would usually spend on produce in a week, and I expect to still have to buy some fruit at the grocery store. However, we did not do this specifically to save money (although it is a pretty good deal, especially considering that some of the produce is organic.) In addition to the fresh produce, we feel that we are paying for a summer of outdoor fun, as well as enhancing our lifestyle by eating more vegetables and trying new varieties.
I'm very excited to start our CSA adventure, and I'll be sure to post some updates.
In the mean time, does anyone have any good recipes for Kale?