By Susan Wanderman
The CSA vegetable share has had an impact on my life that I never thought it would. I originally signed up because I had heard about community supported agriculture, how it impacts individual local farms, and best of all, that I could receive a vegetable share every week. With a leap-before-you-fully-look attitude, I searched online and found the Forest Hills CSA. On sign-up day I waited at my computer half an hour before registration began to make sure I would have a good chance of getting one of the few open memberships.
Soon I was inundated with vegetables. Some were familiar and others were not (kohlrabi, for example). I was without many clues about how I was going to get them all eaten. We are not a large family, and although we like to entertain, there were a lot of vegetables.
As a home cook, I could only prepare what those at home were willing to eat. In our house that generally meant a simple, fresh looking presentation. Thank goodness for the internet and cooking websites! I researched recipes, and by trial and error, I came up with go-to recipes that are always at least acceptable, and often delicious, to all. If a vegetable was too bitter raw, I might microwave it with butter. If it was bland, I would use soy sauce, sesame oil or olive oil. Although this is an ongoing process, I started to become pretty good at figuring out how best to prepare the vegetables to my family’s liking.
Before long we were eating way more vegetables than I ever thought possible. I started to anxiously anticipate receiving an abundance of produce each week, and during the cold winter months I began to miss the fresh summer vegetables. I would never buy the same quantity of vegetables at the grocery store. Anyway, supermarket vegetables are just not the same. The CSA vegetables are certifiably fresh, and while they may not hold up as long, they pack far more flavor. My favorites are the cabbage type vegetables.
I am so glad that summer vegetable share season is back. I hope your experience with the CSA is as good as mine has been!