Saturday, May 23, 2009

CSA Adventure: Week 2

I had some success with new recipes last week and some mixed results with the radishes. I made (or rather, Steve made, while I was busy making enchiladas) one radish dish with spices and sesame oil, and it did not go over well. The radishes themselves were fine--the texture was acceptable and the flavor wasn't really noticeable. But the sauce was terrible. I think it was the sesame oil, which imparted a gross burnt flavor. I'm concluding that I just don't like sesame (I also don't like homemade hummus made with tahini). Steve didn't finish his (and he's NOT picky), and Elijah shivered, chewed a little more, made an awful face and spit it back out :)

After that, I was anxious to try another recipe with radishes seasoned more simply (garlic, butter, salt--you can't go wrong with garlic!), but it's been a long, miserable week here at the Kannel house (sickness) and the dish didn't get made on Wednesday as planned. We got MORE radishes this I'll definitely be making it soon.

This week's bounty:
  • strawberries
  • radishes
  • mixed greens
  • parsley
  • apple-herb jelly
  • a "soup ring"--a little wreath made from fresh herbs, to be added to a pot of soup or stew
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 pounds of grass-fed ground beef

My thoughts this week: It doesn't feel very "bounteous." Just being honest. I am hoping that the shares are just sparse temporarily because it's still early in the season (and in the farmers' defense, we've had lots and lots of rain but not much sunshine until this past week). We bought into the CSA expecting to get half a bushel a week (we got a half share) and so far we're getting nowhere near that. The strawberries were good (we made shortcake last night) but we only got about half a quart. Radishes are...well, we can take them or leave them, at least so far...and greens are always great to have, but the amount we're getting is quickly and easily used up. I still had to use store-bought greens last week. We're getting some cute homemade stuff...but I'm not paying for cute homemade stuff, I'm paying for plentiful organic produce, you know? I don't even want to crunch numbers to figure out just how expensive those strawberries were!

Anyone else doing a CSA? What are your thoughts on it at this point? I'm still optimistic--it's only week 2 of 26.


zoanna said...

We dabated doing a CSA, going in halves w/ a friend. Troble I saw with it would be "preferrring one another" week after week on stuff we had paid for, some of which we knew neither of liked (radishes, kale, collard greens, maybe brussels sprotus). Trouble Paul saw was what you've described: not sure it would be much cheaper than going ourselves to a farmer's market, considering the 'waste' of stuff we don't like. AFter 22 years together, I can honestly say we have tried every fruit and veggie we can think of , at least once, and aren't picky. However, no matter how many different ways I've tried to like radishes, I just don't, and have concluded,that's okay. I can live a healthy life without them. We've also trained out kids to try everything (never know what future missionaries you might be raising:).

I would say keep recording the pros and cons of the CSA this year. Chances are you'll have so much bounty midsummer that you will be able to freeze, can, make jelly and give away in abundance and will aprreciate the currently "lean" harvest. Thanks for giving the farmers the benefit of the doubt. I know they want more than anybody great profit from their labors.

zz said...

I'm so ashamed of all my typos. Why didn't I proofread? (Cuz I'm on school holiday, that's why!)

Amy said...

I totally see your point on both counts. It would have been cheaper for us to split a full share than get a half share, but we didn't have anyone to split with anyway.

As for the money...I am anticipating that the shares *will* get much more plentiful, but also, we didn't really join to save money, honestly. After reading In Defense of Food (hoping to write another blog post about that soon), I'm much more willing to spend more money on food and cut other areas of our budget. Suddenly cheap food doesn't seem so appealing. There's a lot to be said for knowing where your food comes from and knowing how it's grown. A farmer's market would be a good option, too, but the closest one I know of would mean driving 45+ minutes to downtown Nashville (and I don't know how great it is)--the CSA, Steve picks up on his way home from work and doesn't even have to drive one block out of his way.