My First CSA Delivery! Community Supported Agriculture Goodness

My First CSA Delivery! Community Supported Agriculture Goodness

Last Tuesday my first CSA delivery arrived! Well, to be exact, it was delivered to a local organic grocery store and I picked it up there. But I didn’t care! It was finally here! All that community supported agriculture goodness just for me!! 🙂

I had been contemplating participating in a CSA for a few months.  Like everything else, there are pros and cons to sharing in a CSA. It is super nice to get fresh local fruit and veggies on a regular basis. But the amount of weekly produce can be overwhelming. On the other hand, supporting the local food community and farmer is a fantastic thing!

There are also many different kinds and options to consider when considering a CSA. The most popular community supported agriculture program includes shares of fresh fruits and vegetables. But there are also many others that focus on just one type of produce like eggs, fruit only, meat, honey, and mushrooms. Which one is best for you? There is also the cost involved. You don’t want to pay for all those goodies to only have them go to waste because you weren’t able to use them all! So your portion size and delivery schedule is important too.

LOTS to think about!

And one of my big decisions was, believe it or not…

The CSA Delivery

Such a simple thing. But something to give serious consideration to.

The pick up site needs to be someplace convenient. Some participants are fortunate in that their box can be delivered to their home or place of employment. But usually, it’s delivered to a central location and you have to go there to pick up.

That means it needs to be somewhere close-by, not out of your way. If it is off your beaten path, that means the box of fresh goodies will sit for a while (hopefully not too long!). That could have detrimental effects 🙁

AND if the pick up site is out of your way, chances are you won’t always “remember” to go there to pick up. That would be really bad for both you and the farmer! Food waste is not a pretty sight for anyone.

So. The pick up site needs to be convenient. A near-by place that you can easily get to. And transport your weekly supply of fresh, natural goodness relatively quickly to your waiting kitchen.

My First CSA Delivery! Community Supported Agriculture Goodness
Fragrant fresh organic strawberries from my first CSA delivery

What Did I Do With My First CSA Delivery?

I had purchased a half-share. That meant that for the next 19 weeks, I would only receive half as much as the regular shares. There is only two of us in the house now. I didn’t want to risk wasting food. Especially not fresh, seasonal, local, certified organic fruits and vegetables!

There may be times in the next 19 weeks that I’ll wish I had purchased a larger share, but a half-share should be sufficient for most of the season. If it isn’t enough…Oh Darn! That would mean I’d have to go to the farmers market to make up being “short”. LOL!

And, if I do end up with an abundance, I can always freeze, dry or put-up (i.e., “Can”) the extras.

In my first CSA delivery I received a small zucchini, garlic scapes, 2 types of lettuce, kale and a quart of very fresh strawberries (OH! They smelled so good!). There was also a bunch of asparagus, a celery root and a small pot of thyme for me to plant. “Not bad!” I thought, especially when you consider that it is early in the growing season. It has also been unseasonably rainy and cold, which has not good for tender vegetables like lettuce.

My First CSA Delivery! Community Supported Agriculture Goodness
A fresh salad topped with a homemade vinaigrette is always good!

That very first night I made a delicious salad with the lettuces to go with dinner. I added blueberries and bacon, and topped it off with a maple syrup vinaigrette. YUM!!! 🙂

Sprigs from the thyme plant were added to my husband’s scrambled eggs the next morning. Now the plant sits in a pot outside. Maybe I’ll get more herbs to add to it!

The kale was added to my morning smoothies. I washed and froze the strawberries to enjoy later. And we got two meals out of the asparagus, sauteed in some of the garlic scapes.

Last night I made some Celery Root Chicken Salad for dinner. So good! The perfect way to incorporate the celery root and leftover chicken breast into an easy to make maindish.

And tonight I am making Zoodles! A simple side dish of zucchini noodles sauteed with more garlic scapes and tomatoes, then tossed with Parmesan cheese. I’m thinking it is going to be perfect with the fish we’re having 😀

My First CSA Delivery! Community Supported Agriculture Goodness
Celery root chicken salad & roasted asparagus dinner made fresh ingredients from my first CSA delivery

Let’s Hear About What You Do With Your CSA!

Do you have any “CSA Bounty” recipes you’d like to share or are looking for? Feel free to reach out to me through the contact form on the right or on my Contact page. I’d be happy to speak with you.

And don’t forget, if you aren’t sure of what you are doing in the kitchen but want to eat healthy, you can sign up for my FREE Cooking Basics how-to-tips! You’ll get an email every week for an entire year. That’s 52 helpful kitchen tips! Everything from how to make the perfect fried egg to different ways to prepare vegetables and how to freeze those fruits & veggies you find at the market 🙂

Enjoy and Be Healthy!

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Good Rules For Shopping At A Farmers Market: Know Your Vendor

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I have a confession to make. I use nutritional supplements. While I wholeheartedly believe that our society relies too much on pill-popping, I do believe supplements and medications serve a purpose. For myself, I’d rather try diet or lifestyle changes before taking medication. For example, I am battling my cholesterol levels with a high fiber… Read More

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A Sunday Chicken Dinner has to be one of my top 5 Sunday Dinners. It speaks to me of my childhood – family around the table, later watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and then The Wonderful World of Disney with my sisters and brother. It brings back memories of Mom and Grandma in the kitchen. And let’s not… Read More

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Teacher always said, “Ask questions”. No question is a dumb question. If we don’t ask, we won’t know. The same applies at farmers’ markets and buying from local farmers. Ask questions. Get to know your farmer and get to know where your food comes from. Most Important Question to Ask Your Farmer or Market Vendor Can I… Read More

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Mary’s Kitchen is seeing green beans (and yellow) everywhere! Afterall, July is the season for beans! It’s been a weekend in my kitchen. I picked up 20 pounds of mixed organic beans. I spent all Sunday morning processing them. But before I tell you about that, remember the local organic zucchini I picked up last… Read More

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Mary’s Kitchen is a new blog post for me – about how I shop my local markets and use those treats to live healthy. You’ve seen my farmers’ market pictures on FaceBook and Instagram; you’ve read the blog posts about what seasonal produce you can find. You even might have tried some of recipes I… Read More

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Share Your Local Market Pictures: #LocalMarketHaul

Share Your Local Market Pictures: #LocalMarketHaul

Share your local market pictures! Let’s show off the beautiful, delicious, healthy, organic, naturally grown fruits and veggies. Show us the free-range, pasture-raised, antibiotic-free, non-GMO, meats and eggs we buy or see at the market. Share pictures of your harvest on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram with #LocalMarketHaul! Most everyone loves to take pictures of their food 😀 It’s… Read More

Defining Organic Food Labels – Clarified Rules and Regulations

Defining Organic Food Labels – Clarified Rules and Regulations

There is a lot of confusion out there about organic food labels. According to the USDA (United States Department  of Agriculture) National Organic Program, Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs,… Read More

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!

To celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, I went to a local farmers’ market. Well actually…I went because I needed some fresh goodies, but what better way to celebrate food made by Nature than at a market?! While I was there, I overheard a conversation between two women – one apparently was a teacher and… Read More

Explaining the Distinctions Between Organic and Local Foods

Explaining the Distinctions Between Organic and Local Foods

Are you as confused as I am about what’s organic and what local foods are? A couple weekends ago we were visiting friends and my girlfriend confessed to me that she is very confused and frustrated about organic foods. “You too?!” If a package comes from a large industrialized farm, is it still as “organic”… Read More