We picked up our very first CSA box on Saturday, and are happy to report that so far we're quite pleased!
Early in the week, we received a mailing confirming our registration along with details about our pick-up site and the pick-up process. On Friday, we received an electronic newsletter detailing the veggie delights we could expect to pick up on Saturday.
When morning rolled around, we headed out armed with a wheeled cooler bag my mom had received as a freebie at some point (the farm reuses the shipping boxes). Our pick-up site is conveniently just a few blocks away, and the couple whose garage serves as the pick-up site were super helpful and friendly. We were among the last to show up, but happily packed up our boxful of goodies along with a season calendar and newsletter w/ updates from the farm (and recipe suggestions! very helpful for some of the less common vegetables, like stinging nettles below). This week's box included:
- Baby Parsnips
- Green Garlic
- Potato or Egyptian Walking Onions (we got the latter)
- French Breakfast Radishes
- Salad Mix
- Stinging Nettles
- Willow (we didn't take this; it's intended as a decorative item)
Note: If there's anything you don't want, you can leave it in the swap box. And, if there's anything in the swap box that you want, you can take it. Nice!
So far we've used everything except the parsnips, chives, potatoes, and nettles, and it's only Monday! Guess we needn't have worried about not using everything up...I think the novelty helps us get excited about trying new vegetables or cooking new recipes. And a lot of the vegetables can be eaten raw or very simply dressed, so it hasn't been too much of a strain to prepare.
Already our diets have improved, and the process has been quite edifying as well -- there was a bit of confusion about the difference between the green garlic and Egyptian walking onions, and more confusion about whether we got potatoes or the Egyptian walking onions, and what sunchokes were, but we got it all sorted out thanks to the helpful hints in the newsletter and a little Google searching.
I think we'll make mashed potatoes w/ chives and sour cream next, and maybe a nettle frittata. But still brainstorming ideas for what to do with the parsnips and sunchokes.
PS. Our CSA farm doesn't offer free-range eggs, but they do have grass-fed meats, monthly cheeses, fruit boxes, and coffee.