Quick Bites: CSA cravings

csa Four years ago, I wrote about Community Supported Agriculture for the Los Angeles News Group. As part of the story, I joined a local CSA, and was delighted by the haul. The picture on the left is from the first week.

Having to cook with seasonal vegetables someone else chose for me was a fun culinary challenge, and I really wanted to support local farms, because I don’t always get to the farmers market every week. More important, the markets around here have a fairly loose definition of local. A lot of the produce is from San Luis Obispo, 200+ miles away.

Various events, including a complete hip replacement, made me have to drop my membership in 2010, but by spring of the next year, I was determined to rejoin. That’s when I found that the person who had started the group had moved on, and the person who had taken over, while thoroughly lovely, had taken the group into a much more greens-focused direction.

And when I say greens, I mean kale. Lots of kale. Every kind of kale, from curly to dinosaur. This meant at least two bunches per week, and it was very hard not to run out of ideas, especially since most meals I cook are just for two.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against kale. But it’s not my favorite. I prefer chard and spinach. And as much as I tried to get on the kale bandwagon (you can massage it and put it in salads!) I never succeeded. I dropped the CSA that fall, when cabbages and escaroles were added to the kales, and went back to the farmers market.

Lately, though, I’ve been itching to try again. California’s worsening drought makes me want to support farmers even more. But the problem is finding a CSA that is a wee bit more balanced. I don’t mind getting kale again, but maybe two bunches a month instead of six?

There’s also the distance factor. I don’t want to drive 30 miles to pick up a box each week. More research is in order. Any readers out there willing to weigh in?

All text copyrighted by A.K. Whitney, and cannot be used without permission.


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