Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Cons of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

We joined a CSA this year.

Have you heard of a CSA? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It means you pay money to a farm at the beginning of a growing season and each week you receive produce (your share) from that farm and/or surrounding farms.

I liked the idea of getting locally grown, in-season food. I thought it would be fun to try new recipes and new vegetables. The quality of vegetables and fruits was great.

However. It was not cheap. So I didn’t want any of it to go to waste.

But some of it did. There are apparently some foods I just don’t like. In fact, no one in our family likes them.
Case in point: Beets.

I tried cooking them numerous ways. The final way was trying to make ‘beet fries’. I won’t even bother linking to a recipe so you can try it. They just are not worth making. I ate some of them. But they did not taste like fries.
CSA (11)

And my husband, who eats everything, didn’t like the beet fries. Or the steamed beets. Or the beets that are still in our fridge.

Another thing we didn't like is eggplant. Everyone told me to make eggplant Parmesan. Well, for one eggplant, that would be great. But I had about twelve. I tried making baba ghanoush. (Google it if you're unfamiliar). Mine was awful. Tasted nothing like it does at a restaurant.

And while I am all about trying to avoid pesticides, I think there must be some varieties of apples that do better with a few treatments of something. Otherwise they will look like this:CSA (2)
We still ate them. But I peeled them first.

Another oddity: we got turnip greens. As in, the tops of the turnips. Why?? Why not leave them attached to the turnips? What do I do with a turnip green? The farm suggested making homemade spanakopita. But that required buying a whole slew of other ingredients. And having time. So the turnip greens were composted, I confess.

And for the final kicker, this was something we received two weeks ago. Can you identify it? I could not.
mystery root vegetable
Some questions for you:
1. Have you ever been a part of a CSA?
2. Do you know what is pictured above? (Stop back tomorrow for the answer….)
3. Do you pay extra for organic foods?


  1. That looks like it might be a celery root- there's some great info about it on localfoodsaboutdotcom. As to the beets- could you use them for dyeing? I, too, am no fan of the beet, but they do have some remarkable dye qualities. Those apples, though- yeesh. I grew up with organic apples, and they NEVER looked that bad!

    1. You are right, Heather! I just posted the answer...

  2. I've wrote a post on CSA's this summer but haven't tried one myself for the very reasons you give! :) I'm just sticking to my garden!

    1. Gardens are great. The deer completely leveled ours this summer. We harvested a few snap peas, zucchini and spaghetti squash. They were great. I'm going to stick with the farmer's market next year!

  3. You treat turnip greens like spinach or kale. Cut them up into strips, sautee in butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, a little sugar, and vinagar or pickle juice. They go good with pork or chicken. Yummy and nutritious.

  4. I also have a beet recipie that is good and I didn't like beets either, but I haven't tried with fresh beets. I don't see why It wouldn't work though. Chop up potato and onion, sautee in butter with salt, pepper, and oregeno until potatos are browned and cooked through, add a can of drained mushrooms and drained beets (not pickled). Heat through. Check for seasoning. They take a lot of salt. To use fresh beets, I think you'd cook them like potatoes.


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