It’s What’s the Word? Wednesday!
These last two weeks have been bonkers-crazy-busy. Two beautiful weddings equals two very time strapped weeks and one very exhausted Amy.
I have been so time-strapped that groceries were not bought and we ate out… a lot. I bought my lunch several times (gasp!, no seriously, I always bring my lunch to work) and delivery once I was home (ugh this happens occasionally but shouldn’t half the nights of the week). The dogs kind of hate me right now because I haven’t been home to do anything with them and my body shares similar feelings because I have been indulging in wine and prepared food and not indulging in the gym. Not a good habit, but YOLO, you (really do) only live once.
This weekend I’ve pretty much cleared free for working on my blog and I’m bound and determined to get back to a regular posting schedule. Only a few weeks left of Summer and I’m on a mission to fill out my list as much as possible before the deadline.
So this week letter is not an ingredient but a really great thing you can do for your community (and family) that involves local fresh produce! This week, C is for Community Supported Agriculture!
What is it?
Community Supported Agriculture, often shortened to CSA is exactly what you may be thinking but possibly better. It’s kind of like the local farmers’ market delivering the best they have to offer, to you on a weekly basis. You may think I just made this up but I didn’t and it’s gaining in popularity. You find a CSA program you like and you buy annual and semi-annual ‘shares’ and they provide you with weekly drops of delicious fresh produce mostly veggies but you can find ones that deliver fruit shares as well as eggs and even baked goods!
What does it taste like?
Amazing of course but lets talk variety. Every week you get a portion of the harvest from a farmer or co-op of farms who provide you with tasty in season and optionally organic produce. What is better than that? Nothing – especially to a foodie!
Where do I use it?
Use it as part of your regular diet, even if you are not a vegetarian you can still participate, and fully enjoy your weekly deliveries. Picky eater? Taproot Farms has what they call a ‘Staple Share’ which is a weekly drop off of locally farmed potatoes, onions, apples and carrots.
Are there health benefits?
Of course there are it’s fresh veggies people! All jokes aside, a lot of CSA programs offer partial or fully organic (free of pesticides) produce. This is good for your body as well as the environment. The minimal use of pesticides and the shorter travel time of the food, from the farm to your table help lower your carbon footprint. Also it does your karma good to contribute to your community by supporting local farmers/business.
V-Spot suggestions for using food in your CSA bag:
CSA shares are such a great way to try new vegetables. You get to take advantage of what the season has to offer and it’s a wonderful chance to experiment with things you may not think to pick up in the grocery store. For example most of my friends (including myself) were exposed to garlic scapes for the first time via their CSA boxes. Many delicious meals followed.
Almost every CSA program has a website, and usually as part of the website, recipes are submitted by the farmers and CSA shareholders.
For more inspiration/information please check out the following list of Nova Scotian CSA farmers provided by Adventures in Local Food. They have an extensive list of both Year-Round CSA Producers like Tap Root Farms as well as many Seasonal CSA Producers.
Do not fear if you do not live in Nova Scotia or within a city most rural areas have a farm that is down with participating in this kind of business venture and even if the farm isn’t close to where you are often they will have drop off points close to a place that is more convenient for you. I encourage you all to do an internet search for CSA programs in your area, you may be surprised at what options are out there!