CSA is short for community-supported agriculture. Last summer, the company I work for set itself up as a delivery location for the Sage Mountain Farm CSA. I’d been talking about signing up for it since it was announced and, last week, finally did so. I pledged for four boxes, just to try it out, and my first box was delivered on Wednesday. Getting the food home was interesting. I take the train to work, so I felt a bit strange standing on the train platform holding a box of fruit and vegetables.
Wow, what a lot of food. The picture on this post doesn’t do it justice. I was only able to fit about half of the included produce in my refrigerator and left the rest on the counter. Unfortunately, after Saturday’s heat, this meant that we had to throw some of it out. But, I was able to use most of what was on the counter before we did. I’ve never taken the time to try cooking beets or parsnips, and rarely buy chard, so having it selected for me was fun. That was one reason I wanted to try a CSA.
The sheer amount of food in the box caused me more stress than it was worth. I had expected the box to be much smaller and that we would still be able to visit the farmers market, which we enjoy attending. Suddenly something I thought would be a joy has become a burden. Why is there so much lettuce? I don’t even like salad. How can we possibly eat all this food? Where can I store it every week? How will I fit other food in my refrigerator? The small box, which I ordered, is advertised as being able to feed a family of two or three for one week. The members of that hypothetical family must be big fans of Michael Pollan, because they’d have to be eating mostly plants. We are not that family.
I have three more boxes coming over the next three weeks, so I’ll see how it shakes out. I’ll need to figure out what to do with the food when I receive it. I’m thinking of starting an extended family dinner and game night on Wednesdays, cooking as much of the food as possible and sending everyone home with leftovers. The rest I’ll prepare just enough so it won’t take up too much room in the refrigerator. Even so, I think that after the fourth box, we’ll go back to making our regular Saturday trips to the Vista Farmers Market. The market is more enjoyable for us. It gets us outdoors, we can pick our own food, and we can interact with the farmers and vendors.