A couple of months ago we signed up for a vegetable share. It wasn’t the first time I’ve done a CSA type arrangement, but it’s been awhile. We paid a fairly large sum, up front, to get a large bag of seasonal, locally grown organic produce each week.
There are a few things I’ve enjoyed about the vegetable share, and a few things I haven’t.
I like supporting local farmers.
That’s a definite plus. In addition to some of the food grown by the farmer we trade with on a weekly basis, there were items from other local farms.
I liked that we ate more of a few vegetables that I don’t normally buy. Radishes, for example. I probably haven’t eaten a radish since I was a child. (I had to ask my mom what to do with them!) We also got lots of beet greens and several other types of greens. While we do eat plenty of collards and turnip greens, we’ve definitely eaten them more frequently these past two months.
I like having fresh herbs (cheap).
Fresh herbs make everything from a simple, quick omelet to soup amazingly delicious. I’ll definitely be buying more fresh herbs from now on.
What didn’t I enjoy about our vegetable share? That not having control over what was in the bag translated into more food waste.
One of the things the vegetable share has taught me is that in order to avoid wasting food, you need to be realistic.
I need to buy what my family will actually eat – and what I enjoy cooking!
My family eats plenty of fruits and veggies – but they’re more likely to be potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions, cabbage, broccoli, peas, green beans and sweet potatoes. Less likely, vegetables such as radishes, beet greens and salad lettuces.
And with the exception of the middle of summer when it’s too hot to eat much else, we really aren’t “salad people”. I’m ashamed to say how much romaine got tossed from the vegetable share. We prefer our veggies cooked, with a nice side of butter!
And I don’t feel bad about this.
Raw vegetables aren’t as healthy as the mainstream “experts” would have you believe. Raw veggies are harder to digest and the body has a more difficult time extracting their nutrients than cooked. Especially when you have several little ones at the table (babies, toddlers and others without a full mouth of teeth or a penchant for extended chewing). Raw veggies tend to come through the diaper, whole.
We aren’t cows, and we aren’t equipped to digest greens all that well unless they’re cooked (with fat, and maybe the addition of a little vinegar too).
Will I do a vegetable share again?
Hmm, likely. Although this time, I’ll do more research ahead of time to find out what kinds of things are likely to be included. The farmer we buy from has pictures of the spring, summer and fall produce boxes posted to his Facebook page… and I didn’t take time to look at those selections. If I had, I probably have found that the summer and fall selections are more likely to contain my family’s favorites.
Have you ever done a CSA? What were your thoughts?