Community Shared Agriculture; Veggie Shares

Haven’t we all pretended to be top chefs, hosting a television cooking show to a captive audience of amateur foodies and aspiring cooks? No? Just me? Oh.

Well, in any case, I’ve thrown myself into the ultimate kitchen arena. For the next twenty weeks, my meals will be dictated by the seasons, and the crops of my local food producers. I’ve signed up for a twenty week share in the Community Shared Agriculture program of Taproot Farms. This means I receive a box of locally sourced, occasionally organic, healthful produce every week. Now I only have to learn to part with my weekly grocery list and instead open my mind to spontaneity and some unusual ingredients.

It's like vegetable Christmas every week.
It's like vegetable Christmas, every week.

Fresh cilantro, Swiss chard, garlic scapes, bronze fennel; these are just a few treats that have appeared in my first two boxes. If you’re not particularly adventurous, the boxes also contain staples like tomatoes, carrots, turnip, green onions, and field greens. There’s also a convenient swap box at the pick-up location, if you’d prefer an extra tomato in lieu of beet greens (crazy, I know).

While I can feel good about eating locally produced food, and supporting the farms in my community, I’m also reaping the benefits of convenience and savings. Having a weekly supply of vegetables at a convenient pick-up location means that I’m not wasting time at the grocery store (though I do love grocery shopping) several times a week, running back for forgotten ingredients that likely have more food miles than I can bear to count.

I’ll keep you apprised of this culinary challenge, particularly when I begin my monthly meat shares through the same program. Now to find the right local wine pairings for these summer meals…

So, Halitrax readers, where are you getting your dinner?

9 thoughts on “Community Shared Agriculture; Veggie Shares

  1. This is the sweetest friggin’ thing. I really wanna try it, but I worry that I’m not “quite” enough of a chef to pull it off. Like, I don’t know enough about cooking, and I don’t do enough of it. I guess that’s a trend I should change. Maybe you’ll teach me a few things, Krista. I’m willing to learn!

  2. Jan, one of the great things about Taproot Farms is that CSA subscribers also receive a weekly newsletter that details what to expect in that week’s box. Often the newsletters include recipes (or links to recipes) for some of the less common ingredients, in case we haven’t used them before. The swap box is also quite helpful if someone isn’t feeling particularly adventurous. It’s easy to switch out the kale for something more common, like green onions.

    I’ll have y’all over for a local food dinner sometime soon. Maybe after my first meat share pick up? We can figure out what to do with this crazy box of surprises!

    ALSO, if you want to make less of a commitment, there are different levels of participation available. You could get the “appetizer” share or “student” share, which is just enough for one or two people each week, and for varying lengths of time.

  3. I’m happy to see the different CSA options. I know people who have shied away from these programs for fear of being “locked in”. Good on Tap Root (and all the other fabulous CSA programs) for being so flexible.

    CSAs all over the place! http://www.acornorganic.org/pdf/CSAmanual.pdf
    It’s all pretty interesting, but the consumer relevant bit starts on p 11.

  4. Yes! We have this in Invermere! I keep meaning to sign up, but now that I’m out of the house 4 nights a week, and I only cook one or two nights a week, I’m worried it’ll all end up in the compost instead of being eaten.

  5. […] Overall, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Truly. While we occasionally receive items that I’m unfamiliar with or not particularly fond of, the challenge to create new and delicious recipes has been one that I continue to enjoy. Plus, it’s easy enough to find a friend who will do a swap or take a gift of the items I’m not into. […]

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