If you don’t know what CSA stands for (as I didn’t one year ago), it is Community-Supported Agriculture. Basically, consumers can purchase shares of participating farms and receive fresh produce from the harvest each week for the summer season (20 weeks for us). Typically, you receive about a box-full. We pick up our share every Saturday at the local farmer’s market in town, and we never know what we are going to get until we get there. I love it this way. The Iowa City farmer’s market is bustling and huge, with so many amazing vendors and delicious looking produce, baked goods, soaps, etc., but I always feel pretty overwhelmed when I get there. I never know what to get and who to buy from, so I usually end up getting the same couple of things. Joining the CSA has taken the guess-work out of the Farmer’s Market for me. I get what I get and I don’t get upset.
So far we’ve received kale, beets, red and white turnips, potatoes, nettles, basil, mixed greens, bok choy, salad mix, garlic, cherry tomatoes, tarragon, garlic scapes, green beans, mushrooms, snap peas, broccoli, and probably some other things I’m forgetting. If you don’t know what to do with an ingredient, our farm’s website posts recipes every week that feature that week’s harvest.
Even though we’ve been out of town a lot this summer, we’ve managed to eat through our box most every week. It’s a great (and eco-consious) way of forcing yourself to eat and experiment cooking with new vegetables. We’ll do this again next summer for sure. And the next and the next and the next, in case you were wondering.
In June, I took pictures of some of our nutritious yummies.
One of our favorite meals to make with our produce is miso soup. It is so easy and pretty quick since all you have to do is chop up the veggies and throw them into a pot with some water and miso paste. We like using a combination of yellow and barely miso.
You can use whatever veggies you like (or have on hand), and it always comes out delicious. (Sometimes when we’re feeling really adventurous, we toss in some rice noodles. Oh boy!)
And yes, you can have five bowls because it is that healthy. Don’t mind if I do.
If you are so inclined, you can read more about CSAs (and find one near you) here.
(Update: I’m linking up with In Her Chucks What’s in the Box link party. Check it out!)