Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our first CSA pickup!

Have you ever heard of a CSA? It stands for Community-supported agriculture.  How it works is people in your geographic area will purchase half or full shares of vegetables from local farms.  Each week, the farms will assemble boxes of whatever crop is ready for harvest, and bring them to a common location for pickup by shareholders.  As a shareholder, you don't have a choice of what vegetables you get; you just get what you get each week.  Shareholders pay for their half or full share at the beginning of the season -- if there is no rain or the crops are low for another reason, you might be out of luck.

I have always wanted to participate in a CSA, but in the past I traveled often and did not think I could eat all of the vegetables I would receive.  Now that Justin and I are living together in Arlington, I decided to shop around for a CSA and participate by purchasing a half-share of vegetables each week.

Several CSAs in the Arlington area were already completely full by the time I started looking (early May), so our veggies have to travel a little further to get here from Pennsylvania.  They come from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, which gathers fresh foods from the local Amish farmers and delivers them to us!

 Here's our first batch:

For our first pickup last week, here's the list they sent me the morning of my pickup:

1 Pint Strawberries - Certified Organic - Liberty Acres
Click here for strawberry storage information.

1 Bunch Baby Scarlet Turnips - Certified Organic - Outback Farm
Click here for turnip storage information.

1 Bag Loose Sparkler Radishes - Certified Organic - Maple Lawn Organics
Click here for radish storage information.

1 Bunch Red Kale - Certified Organic - Maple Lawn Organics
Click here for kale storage information.

1 Bunch Collards - Certified Organic - Coyote Run Organics
Click here for collard storage information.

1 Package Portobello Caps - Certified Organic - Mother Earth Organics
Click here for mushroom storage information.

1 Bunch Fresh White Pearl Onions - Certified Organic - Liberty Branch Farm
Click here for onion storage information.

There were a few items in there that I had to learn how to cook (Kale, Collards, and Radishes), but all in all I would say it was a successful week.

The second batch we picked up this week was more familiar and a lot easier for me:

1 Bunch Asparagus - Certified Organic - Farmdale Organics OR Lancaster Farmacy
Click here for asparagus storage information.

1 Bag Snow Peas - Certified Organic - White Swan Acres
Click here for snow pea storage information.

1 Bunch Garlic Scapes - Certified Organic - Coyote Run Organics
Store unwashed garlic scapes in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
1 Head Broccoli - Certified Organic - Farmdale Organics
Click here for broccoli storage information.

1 Head Red Leaf Lettuce - Certified Organic - Railroad Organics
Click here for leaf lettuce storage information.

1 Bag Mini Bok Choy - Certified Organic - Riverview Organics
Click here for bok choy storage information. 

....Except what the heck is a Garlic Scape??  It looks like the green part of a scallion and I have yet to Google what I should do with it.  I also may have cooked the bok choy to death on accident in my stir fry -- oops!

update: Karen over at The Art of Doing Stuff must be reading my mind... 


  1. just stumbled upon your blog and this is so cool! I want to join! I live in NYC and there are always a ton of farmer markets going on, I need to be better about buying from them. You have inspired me though!


  2. that sounds really cool! I'm glad you are excited about it and enjoying it! Have a great day, lovely!

  3. I've never cooked with Garlic scape before... LOL! Wow, at least it's a new adventure :3

    Aya ♥ Strawberry Koi

  4. I'll let you know how it goes with the garlic scapes... I may have to freeze them, I read they are great in soups and stews!

    Taylor -- it's so fun to see what I get each week!