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Jan 26, 2009

CSA Makes it Easier to Eat Sustainably

A Fennel BulbA Fennel Bulb

You've probably heard about Community-Supported Agriculture---a clever way to support your local farmers. My friend (and stepmother) Alberta has recently begun enjoying the fruits and vegetables of a local farmer through CSA, so I invited her to do a guest post about her experience. Here she is:

In January, The Stockton Record published an article on "Community Supported Agriculture," or CSA. By joining up with a local, participating farm, you agree to pay a farmer each week for a box of in-season produce. I love to cook and try new things, so I knew this was something I had to take part in.

My first box consisted of ten items: broccoli, carrots, leeks, bok choy, mache, mixed lettuce, turnips, potatoes, tangelos and fennell. Along with these beautiful, fresh vegetables came recipes using some of the more uncommon items. Never having cooked with fennell, I tried the recipe for "Fennell and Leek au Gratin" made with gruyere cheese. This had to be one of the most delicious dishes I have ever made and the fragrance, as it baked, was heavenly. I found out that mache is a small salad green and is considered a specialty item. With the help of my computer, I was able to find more recipes, such as "Turnip and Potato au Gratin." Mmmmm!

This week, I received broccoli, mizuno greens, rapini, radicchio, butter lettuce, savoy cabbage, savoy spinach, bok choy, turnips, red Irish potatoes and oranges. It helped using my computer to identify the things I had never seen before. Imagine a salad every night made with the first seven items listed---out of this world!!

To find farms in your area that may offer this sort of thing, check out the Local Harvest website. As for me, I can hardly wait for my next selection of produce!
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