Published: May 12, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: May 12, 2012 10:25 PM
The ABCs of CSA
Im not proud to say that as a family, our eating habits are not the healthiest. On our first trip to Merlefest, we were just dating, so out of shyness, I let my husband, Tom, choose the food. His response: You do realize thats like letting an 8-year-old be in charge of meals. But thats one thing I love about him his childlike take on some things. It was quite freeing actually. I had spent a lot of time before Tom watching what I ate, trying to stay thin.Its a much different scene, now. Due to his preferences, the fact that we have a real child, and my total lack of cooking prowess, how we dine at home leaves much to be desired. On a good day, it might be tortillas, beans and rice, but on other days we serve food that belongs on restaurants childrens menu: hot dogs, fries, pizza, spaghetti.Feel free to judge us, if thats your way. We do try to offset the damage with a side salad, but Im not sure its helping much. If its true that you are what you eat, then we are big blobs of salt, grease and sugar. So this summer we are going to become something completely different all fresh and clean inside, and one with the land Yep, we are going to get ourselves back to the garden, as Crosby, Stills and Nash might say by eating the produce from our CSA farm share.If you dont know what that is, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, we paid a local farm at the beginning of the growing season, and every Wednesday they bring a big box of vegetables to a nearby drop-off point. Its lovely. The produce is super fresh, clean and really tasty. Its not what were used to, but having paid for it, Im pretty much forced to prepare and serve vegetables. And were pretty much forced to eat them. Were only three weeks into the growing season and so far weve received one pound of spinach, two heads of romaine lettuce, one head of red leaf lettuce, a pound of arugula, a half pound of salad mix, six pints of strawberries, two bunches of green onions, a bunch of something they called rainbow chard, a bunch of broccoli, and half a bunch of the best asparagus Ive ever tasted.According to the farms growing schedule, we can expect to receive up to 40 different kinds of produce, including blueberries, cauliflower, kale, potatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes I could list them all to up my word count, but that would be cheating, wouldnt it?Needless to say, our meals have been looking a LOT different these last couple of weeks. Nearly every night instead of a gloopy entree and a tiny salad, we are smiling like clip-art models at big plates of salad, lightly sprinkled with diced chicken breast and shredded cheese. Even my picky child, Bill, inhales the fresh spinach. Im pretty sure its his first salad since he was forced to eat what they served at preschool four years ago.I think he gets a kick out of eating something that comes from our farm. One Saturday at the farmers market in Carrboro we met the guy who runs our farm. Bill loved it. We are all looking forward to the farm dinner they will have in June. Well get to tour the farm and meet the farmers and the other subscribers, as well as chow down on the great produce prepared by someone who actually knows how to cook it! Maybe Ill learn something, and not a moment too soon!Yes, this is going to work out just fine for us. I see it as a win-win situation. The farmers get the cash flow, and we get the fantastic, fresh local food. Just think of the antioxidants that will be coursing through our bodies! Im sure our digestive tracts will be cleaner than theyve been in quite some time, and I imagine we will find some small spiritual reward as well a connection with food the way God made it to be. You know, like in the garden of Eden when He told his brand-new people: You are free to eat from any tree in the garden (Except one, of course, but thats another story!)It may be too late for you to buy a farm share for this year, but you can start for the future. Check out this website, bit.ly/6JskeH, for CSA farms listed by county.