Fresh, local, organic- isn’t that the goal for our food these days? As a step toward that goal, I signed up for an organic CSA box about 6 months ago. The one I get is from Abundant Harvest Organics. I have waited for years for an affordable CSA program to come to my area. It’s a little crazy, here I live in southern California, where we grow veggies year round to feed the whole country- and I have problems finding a CSA program! Well, someone got the hint, because now there are a few to choose from.
With Abundant Harvest, I pick up a box once a week. I can get an idea of what will be in it by checking the website, but it is not always exactly what is listed, since they harvest the day before you get your box, and you know, things happen. Being able to get an idea of the produce for the week really helps me with my meal planning, but I’d like to get better at improvising meals based around the box. Renee over at FIMBY has a great post about doing just that.
One thing that I love about it is that it challenges me as a cook. I sometimes get things that I have never heard of before (last week it was purslane– and I confess- I still haven’t used it). So it inspires me to go online, do a little research, and try something new.
Another thing I like is that it keeps me close to the seasons. We get the abundance of different fruits and veggies, much like if we had planted them ourselves. I didn’t plant zucchini, but I still have it coming out my ears! In the winter, we thought we’d never be able to look at another orange. It’s strange, but I like that- I feel that is the way it is really supposed to be. It is a great complement to our garden, since I doubt I’ll ever grow anything close to most of our food, and I like that I am helping to support family farms.
I also like that it comes in a reusable box each week, with little to no packaging to throw away (there is some paper, which I either recycle or put in the compost heap). I still store things in ziplock bags in the refrigerator, but I use those over and over. It’s so much better for the planet in so many ways.
If you are interested in finding out if there is a CSA program in your area, you can find out at Local Harvest.
Do you get a CSA box? Tell me about it!