I don’t know about you, but this time of year my fridge is completely bare. At the moment, I’ve got a sad, lonely egg sitting in there with a container of leftover slaw salad, a bottle of white wine and a whole bunch of half-filled dipping sauces.
Maybe it was the state of the fridge that brought me to one of my favorite moments in the sloppy, early spring thaw out: purchasing the CSA share. Hooking up Midnight Sun Farm with a big fat check means we’ll have a fridge full of green (and red, and yellow, and purple…) all summer long, and a pantry of potatoes in the fall. I can barely contain my excitement – seriously.
There are many reasons to invest in a CSA, but it’s honestly a personal decision. There’s nothing wrong with going to a farmers market and buying what you like – instead of risking the surprises that might be lurking in your share box (like kohlrabi or celeriac). Personally, I like the surprises. Here are a few other things that motivate me to drop the cash now for vegetables all summer:
- A CSA is really, really great for people (like me) who rely on seasonal employment. A big chunk of my livelihood drops off in the summer, and now I know that, if nothing else, the table will have plenty of vegetables.
- I don’t enjoy buying wilted, tasteless vegetables from Jewel. Buying local, organic produce tastes better, and considering the price of off-season, mealy tomatoes, the price differential is slim to none.
- Your body is designed to eat seasonally. Even though it appears we are generally in an “I want it all and I want it now,” phase of evolution, eating by the seasons provides maximum nutrition for minimal effort. Plus, waiting for an in-season tomato is a lesson in patience, and always worth it.
- By contributing to Community Supported Agriculture, you get to skip the middle man (you know, the government), and go straight to the source. I give you money, you give me vegetables. My money is paying for labor and the stuff needed to make vegetables instead of fueling the tank of a semi on route from California. As much as I love California, and avocados, at the moment we could use a little investment into people and resources available in here Illinois (can I get an Amen?!?).
- Farmers are awesome.