I’ve been obsessed with the idea of a CSA since I was in college. For those not in the know about all the hot new acronyms, CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Basically, you are purchasing a share in a local farm which pays out in the form of delicious produce from that farm delivered to you on a regular schedule. I pretty much thought this was the coolest idea ever, and I was really excited about being a real adult and taking the chance to sign up for a CSA this past summer. After much research (shout out to the Urban Ecology Center for their super useful resources), the roomie and I signed up for the “flip flop” (every other week) staple share and an every other week egg share from LotFotL Community Farm. I was so excited to stop by Anodyne and pick up my very first share.
Unfortunately, after nearly 6 months of deliveries, I can say that the CSA system is not for me. It really all came down to one simple fact that I had somehow forgotten in my enthusiasm to be involved in supporting local farming: I just don’t eat that many vegetables. And the vegetables I do go for tend to be the boring stuff: tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, carrots, corn. You know the drill. I don’t really know what I thought I was going to do with a huge bunch of kale, assortments of turnips, and a fistful of beets every other week. I did make an effort to expand my horizons. I sauteed swiss chard like a boss, if I do say so myself, and we made some damn good ratatouille. It was also pretty great not to have to buy carrots or potatoes once fall hit. I think my favorite thing we received were adorable super round watermelons that turned out to be yellow inside. I had no idea watermelons came in yellow! But on the whole, I mostly just felt really guilty about wasting food when the greens went limp before I worked up the gumption to use them, and spent a lot of time gazing sadly at the boring veggies I really wanted to eat at the store. My roomie isn’t too into cooking, and even this small share was overwhelming for us.
I learned some hard truths about myself this summer. One of which was that all the good intentions in the world aren’t going to make me eat kale. I do really want to support local farmers, but it’s best for me to do that at a farmers market where I can buy the appropriate quantities of produce that I know I’ll eat. I’m glad that I tried the CSA, even if I did end up deciding it’s not right for me. This had noting to do with the farm, which was excellent and very communicative with great customer service. If you’re a vegetable fanatic in the area, I would definitely recommend checking out their CSA program. I might still do the egg share next year, because a consistent supply of fresh local eggs was pretty great.
Is anyone else a CSA failure? I kind of feel like I’ve lost some of my hip indie cred by admitting that I totally flopped on this. (Note: I have zero cred of any kind. Except maybe as a punster.)