Community supported agriculture (CSA) shares are something new I am trying this year. Last winter, I bought a weekly “share” of produce during the growing season from a local farmer at the Memphis Farmer’s Market – I choose 10 weeks during midsummer. Then, during those 10 weeks of the growing season, I pick up a bag of fresh grown produce – the seasonal bounty – each week. What’s in the bag is a surprise each time. The CSA arrangement gives the farmer some up front money to get started with the season, and those of us who buy the shares get a good deal on the produce, a win-win situation. Very often, there are unfamiliar vegetables, and it takes some experimenting.
I tried to sign up with my favorite heirloom tomato (& vegtable) grower, but a few people were ahead of me – I am 125th or so on the waiting list. Sigh. So I was pleased to find another farm vendor that I frequently bought from, also had CSA shares available. Ta-Da! I have a 1/2 bushel share a week for 10 weeks. This should be more than enough vegetables each week, and I am hoping to be able to freeze some for later, too.
I picked up my first bag this week: beautiful small onion bulbs, egg-sized potatoes, snow peas, French radishes, kohlrabi, and Swiss chard. The last two are things I have never cooked,and don’t remember ever eating them, either. So – on to the web and cookbook resources! After some photographs, of course!