An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core
by Rebecca on 2009-03-04
We are now the proud owners of (a very small part of) a farm. A few months ago, my friend wrote on her blog about a CSA here in Austin that she had recently joined, and from which she received a box of freshly harvested vegetables each week. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Members join a local farm by paying a membership fee, and for this fee, they receive a share of the output of the farm. I believe that CSA is starting to take off across the country, given a renewed interest in locally grown, organic foods. (Funny, isnʼt that what everyone ate 100 years ago?)
My friend seemed to enjoy her weekly vegetable bounty from the CSA, so I put our names on the waiting list. Hey, this is Austin — organic, locally grown is hot. I figured that this would be a good way to to try out new vegetables while supporting what seems to be a very worthy cause. And we waited patiently for our turn to join the CSA. About a month ago, I got an email letting me know that there was a spot in Johnsonʼs Backyard Garden for us.
I decided to sign up for the 4-week trial, where we would get a box of vegetables every other week. I like vegetables OK, but theyʼre not something that I actively seek out, especially when faced with a nice piece of bread and butter. If it was too much trouble, weʼd only have to mess with vegetables for four weeks. The other part of the deal is that we had to pick up our vegetables ourselves from a designated pick up site. Fair enough. Better than going out to the farm and picking them. The total cost for four boxes is $120, which I think, is still cheaper than what I would pay at the grocery store for a comparable amount of organic vegetables, averaging $15 a week for veggies.
Today, we picked up our first box after work. The picture above shows everything that we found in our box. Itʼs usually a surprise — you get what they harvest that day, and no whining about it. There is a trade box at the pick up site, so if thereʼs something you hate in the box, you can trade it for something else in the trade box, unless, of course, everyone hates that same thing, and the trade box is full of, say, Brussels sprouts.
Hereʼs what we ended up with: one avocado, a bunch of radishes, mint, parsley, a bag of salad greens, a bunch of spinach, broccoli florets, one head of cabbage, a bunch of carrots, what we just found out is a bunch of kale, three oranges and three grapefruit (I traded an extra bunch of radishes for an additional grapefruit.) The citrus fruits are grown on another local farm and thrown into the box for good measure. First of all, I was really glad that all of the vegetables were things Iʼd heard of (not necessarily cooked with, but heard of.) What if our first box had been full of kohlrabi, pac choi, and Jerusalem artichokes? Way too adventurous for a budding veggie lover like me.
Second of all, look how gorgeous those veggies are! The carrots are stunning with their leafy green tops, the greens are so bright, and the mint smelled, well, powerfully minty. I even tasted an arugula leaf from the salad mix, and boy, was it good. And here is my favorite from this weekʼs selection, a teeny little cabbage. Itʼs absolutely perfectly sized, in my opinion.
Thus begins our experiment with organic vegetables. Arenʼt we so hip? And if we find good recipes for all these veggies, weʼll put them on My Wifeʼs Food Blog. Stay tuned!