If there’s one thing I’ve learned while mixing cocktails, it’s that ingredients matter.  Good quality spirits, fresh juices and other components really make a difference between a great drink and a meh one.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the same thing applies to food!

After growing frustration at the poor quality of vegetables and fruits at the supermarket and the better-quality but higher priced material at the local farmer’s market, the Beloved and I decided to join a local Community Supported Agriculture farm.

What’s a CSA?  Essentially you buy a “share” of a working farm and every week (or two depending on what you think you’ll eat) you pick up a box of whatever happens to be ready to be harvested.

I’m very excited because:

  • we will get fresh, organic fruits and vegetables grown here and not shipped from various places across the country (or globe for that matter…)
  • we will support local business
  • we won’t have to get up early on Saturday's to go to the farmer’s market
  • this will encourage me to try vegetables I normally wouldn’t (such as the eggplant that was already being cooked when I took the picture)
  • I will be more like Janette.

We found ours through colleagues at work (scientists can be healthy!), but you can see if there’s one in your area if you’re interested here.

A win all around, though I have to say I’m stumped on coming up with a cocktail that uses kale.

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22 thoughts on “Boxocopia

  1. I first heard about CSAs when my cousin started blogging about the one she joined here. Sounds like a really neat idea and definitely will give you some better foods w/ more a variety than you'd probably get for yourself in the supermarket!

  2. So funny about kale. When I was in school I took several food science and food management classes to become an R.D. In one of the classes they mentioned that your garnish should always be edible. I actually raised my hand and asked "then why do so many places use kale"

  3. I looked into the CSA this spring. I thought long and hard but I was afraid I'd end up with too much produce when my own garden started pumping it out. I would have.I think it's a wonderful program. Who wouldn't love a mystery box of produce? I remember when they started handing out the boxes this spring when I was at the farmers market. People were so excited, oohing and aahing as they went through their box. I like to see people excited about locally grown food, it does a body good, literally and figuratively.

  4. i've been checking it out for a while, but… i kinda like going to the farmer's market in the morning. hehe… also, i'm such a control freak that i like picking out what i'm getting. hehehe… but every time i see one of these photos i start thinking about how i should just join up… it looks gorgeous. :)

  5. I wish I had something like that…its sort of nice to have a surprise in vegetable selection. I used to live beside a couple with a HUGE garden, they let me pick whatever I wanted out of it whenever I wanted. Not only did everything have better flavor, it really lowered my grocery bill. I miss that.

  6. That's pretty awesome and the veggies look delicious. I wonder if it would be too much for one person. Hmm.
    Isn't kale one of the ingredients of a bloody mary? :-P

  7. I don't think we'd do it either if we had a big enough yard for a serious garden. I love the idea of growing your own food. Alas, we have a tiny SoCal spot and have to get by with herbs and such.
    And I totally agree with the fun of the surprise — there's a link on our CSA's website where you can see what's coming that week — but we were like — pffft — we want to be surprised!

  8. Cori — I like the way you're thinking re: kale. (and have you noticed the amount of kale-hate on this page?)
    We're doing our trial period on 1 box every 2 weeks — after 4 boxes we can either stay the same, go a box every week or discontinue. If you found one in your region, I bet there'd be a trial period where you'd see if it was a good fit for you — so the outlay wouldn't be too bad if you ended up being over-vegetabled. Think of how healthy you would be!

  9. We've talked about the CSA thing, and you've inspired me to look at it again. My husband likes to garden, but had no heart for it this year, and this could be the perfect compromise.

  10. Cool! I've been thinking about doing a CSA myself. I was afraid I'd end up wasting too much food. But then again, I need to eat more vegetables, so maybe this is just the thing to force me. Let me know how you like it after a while. Btw, those tomatoes look gorgeous.

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