Friday, January 28, 2011

CSA 2011

So I need to pick a CSA. As I discussed when I thought I was starting this blog back up last year, 2010 was my first time with a farmshare/CSA. It was wonderful and overwhelming. I got piles of produce.

So I was somewhat happy with my farm last year, and loved the information I got from my farmer (recipes, how to deal with garlic scapes) but I got a lot of beets. I don't want to say I'm considering quitting my farm because there were so many damn beets, but they're also expensive. More than the other farms.

So I might stay with them and might switch, but I need to decide pretty soon. The earliest boxes start in May, but a lot of farms sell out of shares long before winter is over.

What's a farmshare? It's a chance to support a farmer or farm, and reap a portion of the harvest. I pay a set price in winter and the farm sends me a share of what they get each week. I can sign up for just veggies or additional goodies like dairy products, meats, flowers, fruits, etc. Here's the thing - the day that box comes, there you are. With that pile of produce. And if you're me, that means on box day (yes, we call it that) I'm cleaning and dicing and blanching and pickling. Like crazy. Then on the day after box day, we desperately need to clean the kitchen.

The big debate in our household of two is whether we get a full share or a half share. We got a full share this year, which meant 8 things (one eggplant, one pint of tomatoes, one bunch of scallions are all "a thing"). Without fail, we lost on one thing each week. It just went in the trash (no, I don't compost - yet). They say a full share is for two vegetarians or four meat eaters. We like to intersperse our bacon cheeseburgers with seitan and tofu, so it's a tough call. I don't want to go down to a half share, which is either the same box of stuff every two weeks (ewww, two week old lettuce) or just four things a week, which means I'm buying additional produce.

I've learned how to freeze lots of things, and yes, you have to learn to freeze some things. And I've got the gear for canning, but I'm afraid of botulism, so I need to keep educating myself and get moving.

Check out these links for more info on farmshares in general or in Philly.

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