Our CSA (community supported agriculture) baskets have now come to an end for the year and while we’re sad to see the wonderful fresh veggies go we’ve had a chance to reflect on our first year with a CSA.
I’ve learned so much from having a CSA – from learning about different types of unfamiliar veggies and how to prepare them to learning to deal with specific veggies repeatedly, I’m looking at you bok choy.
Today we’re talking some of the most important lessons we learned from our adventures in CSA-ing.
There are always new ways to prepare veggies.
The internet has a plethora of information about how to prepare just about anything. With some searching you can find a new way to make bok choy interesting or find out what to do with mustard greens. Both were the bane of my existence this summer.
We can grow a wide variety of things here.
For what I assumed was a desolate northern climate that we live in, we can grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables here in Manitoba. It’s absolutely my ignorance that I didn’t realize this but it makes me so excited that we can grow everything from berries, to eggplant, to pumpkins and melons.
Don’t sign up if you plan on going away in the summer a lot.
We learned this lesson the hard way. We spent almost every weekend in July and August and that took nearly 3 days of eating away. Even if we brought food with us for camping or whatever, we still lost possible cooking time just by being away. If you plan to go away for weeks at a time you may end up missing a whole share or two. Sometimes they let you double up on other weeks but then you just end up with double the produce to deal with on another week.
Proper storage is key.
If you store it poorly, mould will come (and other signs of rotten-ness). Keep potatoes and onions separate, remove beet tops and store separately, and keep greens out of plastic bags. These are only a few of many tips, but proper storage is critical or you end up wasting a lot of food due to spoilage.
Sometimes you cant tackle it all and you must share to avoid wasting.
I despise food waste, but sometimes you can’t tackle everything in the share. To clear my conscious we shared with family and friends the bits and pieces we knew we couldn’t/wouldn’t get to.
Let’s chat – Have you ever had a CSA? What surprised you about them?