Local Eating – CSAs for produce

Over the years I’ve been attempting to eat more local foods.  Initially, I simply joined a summer CSA — vegetables, fruit, and flowers on a weekly basis.  The next year I joined the same CSA again, but for the entire 3 seasons — April through early December.



  • We ate better — considerably more produce than we would have purchased on our own. 
  • It was fresher, and I really like knowing where my food is from — I like meeting the farmers, I like knowing it is organic, and where it is grown.
  • I discovered that my dislike of salads was due to the traditional iceburg lettuce — spring greens on the other hand, make a great salad. 
  • Garlic scapes make good garlic butter
  • I learned that turnip greens cooked southern style are quite good, and young turnips blend just fine with potatoes in soup.
  • Many greens can be steamed and frozen for later, and spinach (or chard, or…..) makes a wonderful addition to my breakfast casserole.
  • I may not like blueberries plain, but they are yummy in a warm muffin so that they are all soft and melty
  • Fennel bulb is surprisingly tasty — and I now have a great recipe for a fennel, italian sausage, and swiss cheese entree!
  • Fresh peaches make a great cobbler
  • There’s nothing quite like local-grown just-picked corn (not organic), grilled.
  • There’s no such thing as too many sweet cherries, or blackberries.
  • A weekly bag of seasonal produce results in learning to use new items.


  • A full brown grocery bag of produce each week is too much for just two people who aren’t vegetarian, leading to waste
  • We got a lot of items that one of us either wouldn’t (rasberries, rutabagas) or couldn’t (sage, bell peppers) eat – see waste
  • Some things we never could figure out what to do with — kohlrabi for instance.
  • Many local/seasonal items are time-consuming and complicated to prepare, not a plus for a working couple (beets!)
  • Finding a CSA with times/places for pickup that works out is not necessarily easy.


While in general the pluses outweighed the negatives, the amount of wastage (and not having a convenient pickup) meant we didn’t do a CSA the last couple of  years.  This year I’m trying again — I found a vegetable CSA that is every-other week, with Sat afternoon pickups nearby and we’re doing the original fruit share again — that’s weekly on Thursdays, but back to being on Mike’s way home, and only for the summer.   I’m hopeful that a half-share of produce will be easier to manage, while still meeting all the pluses!   As we did last year, we’ll supplement with farmers markets, now that we know where a few different ones are.

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