It’s a bouncing baby….eggplant! Oh wait, there’s more!
This week my first CSA order was delivered. I’ve always liked the idea of CSAs, “Community Supported Agriculture”. Apparently the concept originated independently in both Europe and Japan, and was brought over to the states from Europe just a couple of years before I was born. (I had no idea that they were this widespread until I read the fascinating wikipedia article.) I must say, the Germans have the best word for it by far: Landwirtschaftsgemeinschaftshof . A+, Germany, for morphological creativity! We Americans are fond of our acronyms, so here it’s just “CSA” – a Cute, Sweet Abbreviation. :P
The concept is that you pay some amount and get an assembly of in-season vegetables from local farmers– sort of like a farmer’s market, but delivered to your house/workplace/pickup location. This eliminates the middleman and the produce buyer sort of, and helps get your veggies to you quicker with that hot buzzword factor of a “low carbon footprint”. And because it’s not being stored for a long time, farmers have a financially sustainable method to focus on quality and tastiness over how long the veggies can keep for on a shelf. Win!
The main downside is that CSAs often just have a one-size-fits-all policy, delivering huge boxes of miscellaneous assorted veggies, often leading to a lot of waste. However, the CSA I’m testing out this month has a pretty handy setup: you pick a size of order based on how much veg you eat and how big your family is (prices are fixed for each size), then every week you get to choose the items for your order from what they have available in a “shop”. In addition to your per week cost, you can also buy locally sourced meats, dairy, grains, jams, and spices for an additional cost. They don’t deliver to your home, but they have dropoffs all over the bay area. Mine is a 3 minute bike ride from my house– closer than any grocery stores!
This week I picked up:
- a gorgeous newborn-sized eggplant (I think of the rosa bianca type, an Italian cultivar)
- a hearty bunch of delicious looking carrots (you could tell how happy they were while growing by the voluptuous tops, which I had to ditch in order to fit them in my fridge)
- 5 yellow onions
- 3 heirloom tomatoes (the only thing that didn’t look super amazing)
- 1 lb of green beans (“french fillet”)
- one cute little French Charentais melon.
All this for only $18! So far I’ve eaten one of the tomatoes and it was pretty tasty, but everything looks great and fresh. I’m excited to chow down! And best of all? This combined with my additional grocery trip to FoodMaxx brought my weekly food bill to $38, solidly under my $50 a week goal.
Thanks, Eating with the Seasons! Based off my limited experience thus far, I’m planning continuing with them after my month trial. If you’re interested, you should definitely check them out.