My college roomate Amanda is a farmer. (That’s her in the spring of 2003, seven months pregnant, planting seedlings). So, I’ve known about community supported agriculture (CSA) for longer than your average urbanite, I’d hazard to guess. And yet, I’d never done it. When I first moved back to Chicago, I was single and living alone, and told myself I’d wait until I had someone to share all the vegetables with. Then I got me a boyfriend, but we told ourselves we’d wait until we shared a kitchen.
Now, I’ve got someone to share the veggies with and a big kitchen to cook ‘em in. No more excuses.
So, we contacted the CSA our friends use. (Our friends, who don’t even know any farmers. I’m such a poser.) But they were out of shares for the summer. Somewhat helplessly, we kind of let it drop.
But the harvest goddess wanted me to get my ass into a CSA this summer, so a week later, my cousin Saul called and asked if we wanted to split a share with him, his wife, and their new baby twins. (I suppose the twins are too small for chard…but i could see the appeal of some fresh pureed beets!)
Each week we bike over to our pick-up spot and rifle through boxes of produce and pick out our half-share. We get about two plastic shopping bags full each week. This week it was: a head of romaine, a bunch of cilantro, a bunch of basil, half a pound of “stir fry mix,” a bunch of carrots (including a few heirloom red ones), and a pound of green beans. Two weeks ago we got beets. Last week, garlic scapes.
We sometimes can’t finish everything, but at least it forces us to try. We’re eating more veggies than ever, which can’t be bad. And next weekend we get to go to the farm to help harvest and bring the vegetables back. Amanda won’t be there, but I’ll certainly be thinking of her. Can’t wait.