It begins – the CSA box

I did something very exciting over the weekend – I signed up for my first ever CSA box!

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it works like this: you sign up and pay at the beginning of the season, and then every week you pick up a box of vegetables. The fruit of the farmer’s labor. Farms that offer them tend to be superearthfriendly-type outfits.

After exhaustive research (well, doing some research and then going with the one my friend recommended. you know, like you do), I’m happy to be a subscriber to a half vegetable share at Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative.

Things I am excited about, about he CSA box:

1. It’s going to be so easy to eat in-season vegetables. I am totally convinced that it’s better to eat what’s growing right now, both because it cuts down on how far the produce has to be shipped and because it tastes better, but I can never keep track of what that is. I know, I could look at a list. I could spend more time at the farmer’s market. I could check up on blogs about it, but usually, I do not do those things. Because to do them, I would have to think to check, and that’s clearly just too much of challenge. Now my just-picked produce will come conveniently in a box. Excellent.

2. It was surprisingly cost-effective. I am used to paying a premium at the farmer’s market for this kind of superearthfriendly stuff, but this seems to be a much cheaper way to do it. Mine is averaging out at $17/week. That’s really not bad. Even my broke grad student budget can handle that.

3. I get to get creative with the raw materials I’m given. I get in food ruts VERY easily. When I was cooking for just myself, I would eat pasta, frozen vegetables that I microwaved, and pasta sauce out of a jar for an alarming number of meals. The other meals were usually stir fry. I still make these things when left to my own devices. Not that there is anything wrong with either of them, but I am excited for extra motivation to branch out in cooking. This is an excellent excuse to try new things.

4. The pick-up spot is 2 blocks from my house. Short commute! (I’m a little concerned that 3 of the first 4 things on my list at least vaguely have to do with my being lazy, but that is really the truth of the matter. This is me!)

5. Supporting local agriculture feels like a good thing to do. I know it won’t save the world, but I love going in with farmers on their season and then sharing in their bounty. I even like that there is an element of risk to it — if it’s a bad year, I won’t get as much. I like that in a small way, we’re in it together.

6. The produce comes in a box. Like Christmas.

7. My darling husband has agreed to take a picture of the box each week, and I will post it here. And then I will tell you what I made out of it. I know you absolutely can’t wait, right? What?! Me either!

CSA box. It’s happening.

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