I love CSAs, but they’re sometimes difficult for me as someone who lives alone. The downside of seasonality is that it’s easy to end up with repeat deliveries of a vegetable I don’t like (there are a few) – compounded by the fact that even a half-share usually means enough vegetables for two people for a week. I’m happy to preserve extra foods, but often what comes in a farmshare falls under “too much to eat, not enough to can.”
This spring, I’m trying Bring It Food Hub, which is not quite like other CSAs. They source from multiple local producers, and while I didn’t realize it when I signed up, one of the benefits of this is variety: Even if something is in season, I don’t get buried in it. The folks who are choosing what goes in my weekly bag are fantastic about incorporating variety, including things I don’t normally see in CSA shares.
I love supporting local producers, buying food that hasn’t travelled far, and eating seasonally (though I can’t claim I’m hardcore or eternally virtuous about these. I’m a runner, and bananas are a staple of my diet. But I also believe some conscious choices is better than no choices – we all pick our battles). But the other thing I enjoy about CSAs is that it keeps me from picking up the same four things from the produce section every week. If left to my own devices, I’d probably exist off of broccoli, summer squash, bok choy, and those ubiquitous bananas. But the variety that comes in a CSA encourages me to eat differently, and challenges me to try new recipes – especially when I end up with vegetables I have no flipping idea what to do with.
Example: This week, after a brief google search, I’ll be making seminole pumpkin soup. And my friend has given me his recipe for turnip au gratin, which will bury this week’s turnips in enough cheese and butter that they won’t taste like turnips anymore (VICTORY)!
But this recipe for miso ramen is my favorite find this week. I love ramen, and have wanted to try cooking it at home. Plus, I can incorporate my bok choy, oyster mushrooms, and some of last week’s leftover chard into the recipe – triple score on the use-the-CSA-veggies-o-meter. Thank you, Tammela!