I first read the letters "CSA" on Marsha's blog, oh, maybe a couple summers ago. Though I had no idea what it meant, the accompanying photos of vegetables was *kind of* a clue. I went to Google and discovered this whole community supported agriculture thing, which I think is pretty neat. I've been meaning to try for a while -- especially since some friends started buying a weekly box to share amongst their housemates -- but didn't get to it until last week.
The South Central Famers Cooperative has a ton of pickup points, so I chose to get my box at the Downtown farmers market. Let me tell you, it was quite a sight to see me walking those four or five city blocks, in office attire (and 2" pumps -- I'd forgotten!), lugging an 11x11x17 box of vegetables.
I split the goods with G'zilla and Jax, who also kept all the beets, radishes, and the entire head of lettuce. What you see here is my portion -- still quite a bit!
There wasn't a whole lot that I recognized, outside of the green onion (purple, in this case), spinach, cilantro, and daikon. Thanks to the Coop's website, I discovered them to be varieites of kale (Red Russian, Black, Blue Dwarf), collard greens (curly, purple/red), swiss chard, and more.
I sauteed all the kale in butter with mushrooms, onions, and garlic, mixed in some penne and alfredo sauce, added grated cheeses, and baked into a casserole. It was a hit at our Christmas potluck party. Last Monday, Jax sauteed her portion of black kale to go along with dinner (bowties w/ salmon, peas, pine nuts, mint leaves, and feta -- delish!).
It's been a week, and I'm still not sure what to do with the rest of the CSA haul! I should have reread Marsha's last CSA post before I purchased, but I'm glad I could give it a test run by getting just one box. Such a large quantity, though very inexpensive at $15, is simply too much for three mouths. I have a lot of hope, though, and believe in the idea of CSA. So I may try again in spring or summer, when the harvest is different, I have more time to be experimental, and the harvest is more suitable to my palate. For now, I think we'll just stick with a bunch here and there at the farmers market.