My First CSA

A few months ago at a street festival in my hometown, one of the speciality fresh food stores, Alan’s Orchard, had a booth that I stopped by. In addition to picking up a loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip bread (which was SO good), I signed up to be on their CSA waiting list. I know a lot of other bloggers participate in CSAs that are local to them, but I found they were less common in suburban New Jersey than I liked. So even though I was only signing up for the waiting list, I crossed my fingers that someone would drop out, but didn’t get my hopes up.

Fast forward to July, and I got a call from the store that they had room for me in their “Fresh Box” program! Since we were on vacation when they called, I was afraid by the time I got back to them they would have already moved onto the next person. Thankfully they hadn’t, and I was able to pick up my very first box this past Friday. The program runs from May to December and provides you with a (giant) box of seasonal fruits and vegetables weekly (you can choose from three pick up days), and the box comes with a ton of information (instructions for the best storage, recipes, and general information on the fruits and veggies) all for $25! They also offer add-ins that you can purchase like farm fresh eggs, cheese, and other goodies. The store also partners with a local wine shop in town to offer weekly wine and beer selections, too! Needless to say this program is a veggie lovers dream.

This week’s haul included giant jalapeños, an eggplant, four ears of corn, tomatoes, two kinds of peaches, rainbow chard, pickle cucumbers, green cabbage, onions, and tomatillos. I typically meal plan mid-week and shop on Sunday or Monday for the week, but obviously now that I’ll be picking up these goodies every Friday, that has to change. I’ve got grand plans for it all, though. Sunday was grilled salmon with peach salsa, Monday was spicy mushroom and eggplant tacos with salsa verde, Tuesday was a rainbow chard frittata, and tonight is falafel in a cabbage wrap! You can bet I’ll be sharing the recipes soon. I can’t wait to see what each week brings!

Do you have a CSA program near you? Do you participate?