Cooking the CSA Way

This winter, my husband and I signed up for a share in Community Support Agriculture (CSA). It’s an arrangement in which members buy a share of a local farm’s production in advance of the growing season. In return, they receive regular distributions of the farm’s bounty throughout the season. It’s great for us because we get 18 weeks of fresh, healthy, organically grown produce. It’s great for the farmers because they get working capital, risk-sharing for their harvest, and better crop prices.

While we could look through posts from prior seasons to predict what we’ll get each week, we’ve opted for receiving our weekly basket of goodies and figuring out what we’ll do with them on the fly. Fortunately, that task is made easier by having spent the last 5+ years experimenting with lots of recipes.

Here’s what came in this week’s share:

CSA winter share
Left-to-Right: Sage, thyme, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, fennel, acorn squash, delicata squash, beets, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, lettuce, and kale

Here’s what we made:

Nightly salads that used the lettuce, carrots, celery, and beets
roasted vegetables
Roasted vegetables using the spices, carrots, fennel, delicata squash, beets, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts
lentil stew
Lentil Stew with sweet potatoes
acorn squash
Roasted acorn squash

Though not pictured, we used all of the kale in a variation on Fava Beans with Greens where we substituted a package of tempeh for the fava beans. It’s delicious, filling, and really good for us.

This basic pattern has worked well for each week’s batch of vegetables. I’m working on creating sauces to add interest to the meals, especially for the roasted vegetables.

We have signed up for the Spring/Summer/Fall season with the same farmers and will get an additional 26 weeks of produce. What a great cooking adventure!