the art & adventures of tracy durnell


November 5, 2009


CSA Review

The idea of CSAs (community supported agriculture) has intrigued me since I heard about in college, but they always seemed to come in 4-person or 2-person shares, which I didn't need. But now I have someone to share with, I finally got to try one!

After MUCH hemming and hawing, I decided on Boistfort Valley Farm, which has a delivery site in Kirkland only a fifteen minute round trip away. Why I picked them:
  • they're 'Salmon Safe',
  • they offered a two-person share,
  • it cost ~22 bucks a week for the whole summer all the way through October, and
  • the variety of food they offered sounded delectable and delicious.

Our final delivery was last week, and now I'm trying to decide whether to buy a winter share.

Overall I loved having the CSA! I pretty much stopped grocery shopping, only going for pasta, dairy, and baking supplies, yet we were always inundated with food! We always got way more than we could eat, and I felt bad letting stuff go bad in the fridge when I didn't get around to cooking it. Each week was different so I didn’t wind up making the same things all the time. It was fun to try stuff I hadn’t tried before - garlic scapes (thumbs WAY up!), celery root (thumbs down), random asian greens (shrug), etc. An added bonus was the farm included recipes each week, which all sounded delicious - and all the ones that I made were! I couldn't get enough of the peas or the scapes, and the carrots were the best I've ever had. It was amazing to make whole meals - stews, pasta sauce, salad, etc - all from the freshest ingredients.

There were some drawbacks too though:
  • no choice in what we got, so we got some stuff I know I don't like (chard, celery, fennel bulbs) - although I did re-try some things (Note: even peanut sauce does not make chard edible)
  • no choice in what we got, so I couldn't get more of the stuff I loved
  • no choice, so we doubled up with our own garden. This turned out to only be an issue with tomatoes due to our slacking garden skillzorz, nothing a little pico de gallo won't fix ;D
  • we didn't know what we'd get each week, making planning a challenge
  • made it so I didn't need to go to farmer's markets ever :'(
  • got too many of some stuff (zukes, cucumbers (uh, how much tzatziki can I eat?), radishes, green beans by the end)
  • flowers were included - CJ would have rather'd more food, though we already had too much! (The lily's exacerbated his allergies)
  • I wanted more fruit, cuz the fruit we did get was SO GOOD! I've never really liked nectarines, but I made a stupendous cobbler and wanted more!

All in all, though, awesome. I think I'll do it again next summer. I'm not sure I need that many root veggies though to warrant the winter share...

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