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Monday, November 20, 2006

Reflections on Having a CSA

As most of you know, Ben, Ashley and I split a CSA (community supported agriculture) share in the Sippel Family Farm. We've been picking up fresh veggies every Saturday at the Clintonville Farmer's market (from the middle of May through the middle of November.

When you have a CSA...

1) You get wonderful food. I have never had kale as tender and delicious as the kale grown by the Sippels.
2) You discover new produce (delicata squash!).
3) You make a commitment to eating local produce every week from May to November. (In the past, I had always been a farmers' market regular, but I sometimes would let my local food shopping slide).
4) You are forced to become more inventive in your cooking--to discover multiple preparations for ingredients (such as cabbage) that you might not regularly buy.
5) You become much more in tune with the growing season of your local area. I now know that broccoli grows best in Ohio in September and October, for example.
6) You share in the risk and rewards of the season (you have to be prepared that some crops will do better than others depending on weather conditions).
7) You can get vegetables that are not commonly grown in Ohio. The Sippels grow okra only for their CSA members, but hardly anyone ever sells okra at the market because it isn't commercially viable in this state.
8) You can save a little money groceries, but you also have less choice about what you buy from week to week.
9) You know where your food is coming from--a big plus in this age of tainted spinach from corporate agribusiness.
10) You can eat heartily without guilt (knowing that you are contributing to local sustainable farming).

4 Comments:

  • Ok, how many of those veggies did Ben actually eat? I mean really, we're talking about a man who picks tomato slices off the top of pizza. A man whose idea of eating smart is getting a chili dog and fries instead of a chili dog and chili fries (because you can dip the fries in the chili dog).

    By Blogger Idle Crank, at 7:25 PM  

  • i assure you that i partook of said bounty, and with some degree of regularity. so nyah! also, after eating those veggies, i would immediately retire to the bathroom and purge, so that i could comfortably fit my usual repast of 2 chili dogs and triple-chili cheese fries in my belly.

    By Blogger iLLiaC, at 1:10 PM  

  • How important would y'all say that sharing the CSA was for you? I guess as a (student) singleton it seems like a CSA is prohibitively expensive. Thoughts? Do you think a single person could have consumed all the veg you collectively received?

    By Blogger abby, at 4:43 PM  

  • In June and July, I think it would have been quite a challenge to eat a whole share as a singleton. In the May and June, the bounty was lighter so it would be doable. The bounty was very strong in September, October, and November but fall produce tends to keep better so it would be okay if you got behind on your produce eating...

    I know some CSAs offer half shares...

    By Blogger jason, at 9:08 PM  

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