It’s been more than a month since I joined the CSA and has been very pleased with my weekly produce that I picked out. Most of the time is the same type of veggies that I eat all the time but I tried to be a little bit adventurous from time to time to pick a vegetables that I’m don’t usually cook at home such as patty pan squash, lemon cucumbers and swiss chard.
I enjoyed all the seasonal produce that are available weekly at the farm stand where I picked up my small share. They are fresh, delicious and worth the extra money that I paid for instead of sifting through the produce isle in the store.
One surprised thing was that my daughter even know that each week I will bring home the “goodies bag”. As soon she sees the red bag I brought home, she immediately says “Mama…strawberries !” and start digging through the bag. I enjoyed letting her discover all the produce and using it as a tool to teach her the fruits and vegetables that are healthy for her.
Eating local and practicing sustainability in Oregon has always been at the forefront of their residents. Organics/whole food groceries and small family farm has bloomed dramatically, particularly in the Eugene/Springfield township that I lived in thanks to the local demand. Farmers market has turned into the hot spots for the locals to hang out and enjoy the local produces/fruits, dairy and pasture during the peak growing season.
I love shopping at farmers market compared to patronizing whole foods stores because I know I’m supporting local business. I enjoyed going to Whole Foods, Market of Choice or Trader’s Joe don’t get me wrong, but their items are overpriced as it is and the items may be organic but it doesn’t necessarily is local. Eating healthy sometimes can be very expensive if you didn’t plan ahead.
So it’s time to go back to basic: eating seasonal and local foods. Foods that are the closest to our home tends to be a little bit environmental friendly as well, therefore, choosing local farmer’s market or joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) makes more sense to me. Since I don’t have the green thumb to grow my own food (friends have laughed at me for this since anything grows in Oregon’s ground), I’ve decided to join CSA to try it out instead. To my surprised, just in our county alone, there’s more than 50 farms that provides CSA services, choosing one definitely is not easy.
I’ve decided to join Food for Lane County youth farm because I liked their objectives to teach limited income teenager about food/nutrition, helping them gain skills about leadership and teamwork. Another plus for joining the youth farm for me was convenience of picking up my own CSA shares right at my work place. Most CSA has full share (feeding 3-4 people), and half shares (feed 2 people) available through the season.
The total half-share for 20 weeks cost me $350, averaging out to be $17.50 per week. Really not a bad deal for fresh, local produce. After two weeks of picking up my CSA box, I noticed that I have minimal waste on the veggies compared to before that I’ve always had some wilted veggies in my fridge waiting for me to throw away. It also forces me to be creative in making dishes with those items as well.
If you wanted to learn more about CSA, visit “IFOAM organic international” website to explore what’s available in your area (North America, Japan and Europe).
Menu Created for Week 1:
Steamed Carrots with Butter
Sautéed Beets Greens with Garlic
Sautéed Kale with Chicken
Menu Created for Week 2:
Strawberries Greek Yogurt Popsicle
Beef with Bok Choy
Broccoli & Tofu Stir Fry
Zucchini & Carrots Soup
Garlic & Scallions Chicken
This is quite fun and I will continue to share my weekly finding and what menu item that I come up with. Hope you all can start exploring your local CSA and share your experience with me !