Friday, July 24, 2009

CSA Adventure: Week 11

To be honest, I am still not overly thrilled with our CSA. We are almost to the halfway point (it runs for 26 weeks) and the weekly portions will need to increase *substantially* if it is all going to average out to the half-bushel a week we were told to expect.

We are up to our ears in cucumbers (the "funny-looking squash" from last week are actually an heirloom variety of cucumbers, my bad), and neither of us particularly likes cucumbers. I may attempt pickles, but it sounds complicated, and I don't like pickles, either. I thought we'd be getting lots of tomatoes, but I was dismayed to open our bag and find only four puny Roma tomatoes and two cherry tomatoes. None of which look particularly amazing. So much for the BLTs I planned for this weekend...

We are getting lots of fresh herbs in our share each week, and while sometimes that's kind of nice, it seems like herbs should just be an added bonus. Instead, it feels like they are using the herbs to fill out our shares--but herbs aren't food, they just add flavor to food.

I don't want to be Negative Nellie about it...but it just doesn't feel like we're getting much usable, meaningful *food* for the amount of money we paid. I am not sure if our expectations were unrealistic, if it's a bad year, if this is just a poorly planned/poorly run CSA (it's the first year for it), or what. Still hanging in there...

This week's bounty:
  • tomatoes (four Roma, two cherry)
  • four ears of sweet corn
  • two regular cucumbers
  • one lemon cucumber
  • banana peppers and hot peppers
  • green beans
  • basil
  • mint (determined to actually make mojitos this week instead of wasting it!)
  • six farm-fresh eggs
  • two pounds grass-fed ground beef


zoanna said...

Well, if our garden is any indication, what you're getting sounds fairly normal, in that all we've picked thus far are two cucumbers. The tomatoes are still green, the squash still small, the peppers "half-cooked". Most of the true summer veggies aren't really ripe for another 2-4 weeks, so hang in there. As for the herbs, I would say you're right: they are filler. Herbs will grow like weeds in any sunny spot with just a tad bit of rain. If they get too much, they'll suffer, but I'm betting you'd be happier to grow your own (they make a great centerpiece on an outdoor table, all planted in one pot). As for corn, our harvest comes from the Eastern Shore, but the corn on local farms is only half grown. You really will see an increase, but it might not feel like it compensates for your paltry pickins to date. Bottom line: I doubt it's the CSA. It's probably your ag zone that doesn't
get hot-hot till July and thus crops don't ripen till mid-Aug. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

I've not gotten really any tomatoes yet, maybe 5? And one meal's worth of beans, if it makes you feel any better. Granted, I planted mine a bit late.

Unknown said...

Well we've had more than we can eat in our half bushel box each week from our CSA. I've been sharing it with our neighbors. So maybe since it is the first year for them, they are just not getting as much produce as they may in years to come.

Amy said...

Zo, I don't *think* it's the ag zone. Marcy, who commented below, is local--and the pictures she's been posting of her CSA are far more abundant than ours. Sweet corn is well underway here and has been for a couple of weeks; it definitely gets hot-hot here before July (in fact June was hotter than July so far). I know backyard gardents might not be yielding much yet...but these are professionals, y'know?

I do know there's been quite a bit of rain and they've commented a couple of times that that has been hurting certain crops. Obviously that's out of everyone's control. It's just, when you're told to expect a certain amount each week, and you've paid a good amount of money in get skimpy shares is a bit frustrating.

zo said...

My bad. Don't know WHAT I was thinking when I said it's your ag zone. TN gets hot-hot before MD cuz you're farther south. Don't mind me. I think I was just trying to be gracious to the first time CSA folks, but if they aren't producing what they led to expect (even w/ rain, which, unless you experience flooding, shouldn't matter a hill of beans to most farmers). Have you talked w/ them about your disappointment? Business owners need to hear honest feedback so they adjust their service in the future. mean, if Marcy is getting an abundance and you're getting a pittance....