Monday, October 27, 2008

Winter CSA: The First Drop-Off

My first CSA changed my life. Suddenly my vegetable intake skyrocketed from greens on the side to stuffing as much fresh produce into my diet as possible. If you're not used to it, downing that much foliage might take some getting used to. But after just a few days, you realize it's the best way you could possibly eat.

Your vegetables (and sometimes fruit and fungi) are not only fresh, they're still the same temperature as the ground. You eat what is local and what is in season down to the very day. Food you never thought much about before, like fennel, suddenly becomes a bridge connecting you to your foodshed. The lines between the individual and the landscape blur as you start to feel like you're actually part of the world you live in, much more so than if you just shopped at Whole Foods.

Sadly, I haven't been able to participate in a CSA for a few years due to work related travel. Sure I ate lots of great stuff from Farmers Markets, but it wasn't the same. I missed that weekly boatload of greenery that had changed my life. I missed letting nature pick the menu.

Thankfully, starting this Fall I won't be traveling as much as I used to and more farms are offering Winter CSA's for those like me who missed the main growing season.

"What's that" you say? "Fresh produce in New England in winter? Impossible!"

Not exactly. It's what everybody did until pop tarts showed up. Growing: it's not just for summer anymore, again.

Starting this week and going through mid-December, once a month we'll get forty pounds of incredible, local, seasonal, organic-ish food. The Belmont CSA which I've subscribed to follows an interesting model in which different farms team up to contribute to a single share. We get apples from one place, greens from another and so on. Our first drop included the following:

-sweet potatoes
-Mark Bittman's favorite kind of kale
-delicata squash
-Napa cabbage
-a pumpkin
-the best peppers I've ever had
-Japanese turnips
-a huge daikon
-green peppers

Oli, the official new dog of Tea and Food, was particularly into the spinach.

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Karen B said...

Awww. I bet Oli would like a meat-share even better.

Joanna said...

It must run in the family! Prince (Oli's cousin???) loves all kinds of veggies and never leave your dried fruit unattended when he's around!

Shayne said...

a spinach eating dog now that is a hoot

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