November 2, 2009

CSA Delivery Day

I apologize for the glare on the photo, it's very bright outside!

This delivery has a lot of new items, the season change is evident. I'm looking forward to making a mushroom risotto with that exotic-looking mushroom medley. And though not everyone is a fan of persimmons, I love them! And they're so beautiful.

This week we got (roughly clockwise from the back): two packages of fresh baby greens (one spinach, one arugula), red leaf lettuce, delicata squash, garlic, red onions, fresh thyme, butter potatoes, pomegranates, cherry tomatoes, fresh lima beans, homemade granola, fuji and black arkansas apples and a lovely little mini pear, persimmons, red grapes, assortment of crimini, oyster, shitake and wood ear mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, and spaghetti squash.

I'll post a recipe for Delicata Squash Bisque below this post, which I'll be trying later this week.

We love receiving this delivery, it's so much fresher and tastier than going to the supermarket. But I should tell you that it's not for everyone. Two of my friends have already started and stopped this delivery, and it made me realize that it really is a bit of a commitment that won't work for every person or family. First of all, I plan our meals around the delivery, and I don't mind that because we have a flexible schedule and I'm learning to cook new things. Also, my husband and I tend to like almost any produce, although we do have some favorites.

A CSA delivery wouldn't work for you if you wanted to make a particular dish that week, and the items weren't included in the delivery. It wouldn't work for you if there are a lot of fruits and vegetables you don't care for. And it probably wouldn't work if you have a full-time job away from home and you're the person who does most of the cooking.

One of my friends said it didn't work for him because he's too picky and so a lot of the food went to waste. The other friends are what I would consider gourmet cooks, and I think they didn't like having the delivery sort of dictate your menu plans.

So there are some very valid reasons this service wouldn't work for everyone. But it's been great for us. One of my favorite things is that my husband always has a healthy stash of food to make sandwiches or snacks with. And I've enjoyed trying new recipes incorporating new ingredients. If you think it would work for you, click here to find a CSA in your area. If you live in Los Angeles and want to try our delivery service, click here for the link to Auntie Em's delivery service. And click here if you want to check out our previous deliveries of delicious produce.

Do you belong to a CSA? Do you like going to the Farmer's Market? Please share your thoughts and questions in the Comments section. I'm so happy that it's getting easier for more people to eat fresh, local, organic produce.


WilliamB said...

One can work full time and be the regular cook and still have a CSA work for you. But I like to cook a lot and I prefer the challenge of cooking what's fresh rather than buying to a menu plan. I'm not sure I could add chilren to that mix.

My CSA experience ultimately failed not because it was too much work but because the selection wasn't very good. My memory is of scads and scads of basil. No fruit. The fresh broccoli and bok choy were amazing but they lasted only a couple weeks. Then it was back to random lettuce and basil.

I find farmers' markets a little dangerous - the temptation to overbuy is very strong.

Angela said...

WilliamB- yeah, a CSA that's mostly lettuce and scads of basil doesn't sound very exciting! And yes, I always seem to overbuy at the Farmer's Market.

Castal said...

Our local CSA (Los Poblanos Organics) is great! We get a weekly box that, while smaller than your spread, is still just right for a family of three adults. We get a nice selection of fruits and veggies as well as staples like greens garlic, potatoes, and onions most boxes. It runs year round, thanks to some Arizona, Texas, and California produce--mostly fruits from these places--and greenhouses at the main farms here in New Mexico.

We don't plan out weekly meals, but instead have a stock of dry/less perishable items that can go with pretty much anything. I have learned to cook with lots of new fruits and veggies over the past year, as well as eating much more healthily! It is more expensive than buying non-organic produce, but it is much better taste (and health) wise.

I supplement the box during the summer with farmers' market goodies but tend to spend waaaaay too much when I go there. I get eggs from a farmer there as well. Unfortunately, the market (and the eggs) only are available during the summer so I lose these days.

I am happy that I have the CSA box, and will continue to buy it as long as I have the income or ability to do so...If they ever go back to not delivering to my little town I will be incredibly disappointed!