Last year, I named my CSA diary “What’s In The Bag?” Every week we would pick up a bag full of produce from our local CSA. This year, we joined a new CSA. Yesterday was our first pick-up, and there were no bags of produce. Everything is nicely displayed in bins (I’ll see later in the season if they will allow me to take some pictures). They harvest the morning of pick-up for best freshness. The produce is bundled and washed, and the leafy greens are placed in bins, and anything bundled (like radishes) is then placed in a bin. It resembles a small produce stand, but with greater variety and it is in a barn.
Since we pick and choose what we would like (see below), I couldn’t name it “What’s In The Bag”… “What’s In The Bin”? might have worked, but I just titled this what it is: Our CSA Share.
Our CSA Share
● Bok Choy
● Head Lettuce – this looked like bib lettuce to me
● Red Leaf Lettuce
● Romaine (I think)
● Salad Turnips
● Sprouting Broccoli
● Various Greens – including Arugula, Tot Soi, vitamin greens (??), and there were several other choices I didn’t note
I am going to have to make better notes at pick-up. My old CSA would not list on their blog everything in the bag that week, but they also sent us home with a sheet of bag items list, farm news and recipes.
When you walk in, there is a board that lists what you can take for a full or half share, and you may not get everything. For instance there were three types of lettuce available, but a full share received two lettuce bunches (a 1/2 share one). In some ways this is fabulous – no more produce that we will never eat, but on the other hand what about the weeks we’d really like all the choices?
And for the greens… there were plastic-produce-bag like you would find in the produce department in a grocery store – that you filled, and you could choose any/all of the five greens available, and take as much or as little (or none at all) of each type as you wanted, up to filling your plastic-produce-bag. Now someone could have filled an entire plastic-produce-bag with arugula if they chose! That would have certainly more than paid for this week’s share. A full share person received a full plastic-produce-bag (your choice), a 1/2 share person; half a plastic-produce-bag (your choice). These produce bags hold so many leafy greens that even though I took more than we can eat, I still didn’t fill my plastic-produce-bag!
The cost of a full share is $545 for 22 weeks (this CSA offers a winter share) which will bring us to the last week in October, and works out to $24.75 per week. Western New York weather is such that June is lightest CSA month. September and October will be more than abundant! Usually I feel I don’t get my money’s worth the first few weeks (which will be predominantly lettuces), but the fall bags more than make up for that.
This first week with our new CSA? Well as I mentioned above a plastic-produce-bag full of arugula could bring you pretty close to covering the entire cost of this week’s share. There were different items available. I think we may benefit more from Hubby picking up than from my picking up as he is the food-adventurous one in this household! I’ll see if he would be willing to go with me next week.
Do you belong to a CSA? If so, what type? How much? Do you find it as worthwhile as I do?
● Find a CSA
● NYS Fruit and Vegetable Harvest Calendar
● US Agricultural Data
I cant wait to pick up my first share tomorrow.. Yours looks great! I love that sprouting broccoli.. Yum!
Im not a huge lettuce fan so I push thru waiting for the good stuff to show up.. Here is a list of what we can expect in our share this week: In this week’s shares, CSA members can expect things such as lettuce (green leaf, red leaf, green romaine), kale (Red Russian, Lacinato, Green Winterbore), bok choy, mustard greens, dandelion greens, bunching onions, cherry tomatoes, greenhouse tomatoes, rhubarb, sugar snap peas and strawberries.
Sometimes we dont get all of the things listed, but most of the time we do..
I’ve got a full share which was quite pricey at $725 for 20 weeks since I didnt have a job to support my CSA habit however, I’ve still got to buy food whether I have a job or not and I had the means available.. so I decided to go ahead & stay in at a full share price. I buy very few groceries over the summer with the exception meat since I get so many veggies I need to get thru during the week… and then I have a good sized garden on top of that too..
Ours has a winter share too that takes us to the week before Christmas..
Im looking forward to this post every week… I love CSAs, local food, & gardening. 😀
Oh man rhubarb would have been excellent! Sounds like you are getting fruits in your share too, which accounts for the increased cost. Organic fruits are $$$.
We do usually get at least one type of fruit in our share.. but they’re not always organic.. The strawberries & rhubarb are.. In the fall mainly, most of the apples arent organic.. but they do come from a local orchard and are fantastic. M’honey & I usually ride the bike out in this area in the fall too and wind up with several bushels over the season from this orchard. Its one of our favorites.
At one of the pickup locations I used to pick up from they had a set up similar to the one you described at yours.. They had 6 or 8 tables set up with boxes of different produce and a sign at each saying how much to pick up for each different share size.. It was beautiful to behold.. but the other 2 places I’ve picked up already have the bags & boxes ready so all you have to do is lift out the liner bag and away you go.
My share this week had red leaf lettuce, Cos lettuce, bok choy, chard, cultivated dandelion, kohlrabi, red & green bunching onions, sugar snap peas, rhubarb, and strawberries. flickr.com/photos
Those peas look fabulous!
Skirnir Hamilton says
We picked up our second CSA share on Monday, but haven’t posted it yet on my blog. A little afraid that with me being sick, things won’t get used like they should. Did try a lentil turnip smoked sausage stew with the turnips that was quite good.
Hey Skirnir.. that sounds awesome.. gotta a recipe to share?
Skirnir Hamilton says
Here is a link to the lentil turnip soup. Was quite good and my hubby said he wouldn’t mind occasionally my buying some turnips, so may have to see what they cost at the grocery store and when they are in stock, etc.. washingtonpost.com/recipes
Oh!! Thank you so much!! That sounds so good!! I bet it’d be great with the turnip greens in there too or any other green as well.. I’ve saved the recipe & plan to make it someday when I’ve got turnips that need to be used! I bet kohlrabi would work great as well.
Skirnir I hope you feel better soon, Anyway you can freeze what you aren’t using immediately?
Skirnir Hamilton says
Feeling better eating and neck wise, but now suffering with the effects of a strong antibiotic. We shall see if I can take that until my next doctor visit on Thursday or not.
And freezing, I am mainly worried about the fresh lettuce, broccoli rabe and swiss chard. Doubt you can free those, especially as we don’t tend to like cooked greens.
Mind if I give you a few suggestions? If you wash each piece of lettuce & then let it sit to dry at least 3/4 of the way, then take a thick paper towel and put it in a large baggie (gal sz) and lay your lettuce on both sides of the paper towel,then refrigerate, it can last weeks!! Im not a huge salad lover and I tend to get 2 heads per week so I do them this way then have loads to share that are still in good shape when someone comes to visit. 😉
I do like cooked greens (love them actually) but since you dont, consider either dehydrating the chard or chopping it up fine fresh & freezing it in a thin layer.. then when you’re making soup, quiche, or beans, toss a handful of the chopped up greens in them.
You could do the same thing with the rabe but since it has more of a bitterness to it, you’ll want to add it to a recipe that can take a bit of the bite such as Italian Wedding Soup or another bean recipe.
Or, make a gluten free crustless quiche with the rabe now & freeze it in serving slices. If I were making a quiche with it, I’d fry a few pieces of bacon then set aside, add a bit of chopped onion, and the rabe in the bacon grease, then when wilted well & slightly cooled, add all 3 to 4 beaten eggs, a half cup of swiss cheese, a cup of cottage cheese, salt & pepper. you could add tomato slices too. Any amounts of any cheeses will work too.. I dont measure when I make them.. just throw things together. 🙂 HTH
Hope you feel better soon!!
Can’t the broccoli rabe be frozen?
Feel better soon, Skirnir,
Sure… blanch & freeze