I’ve been a CSA member for a while now. (For those who don’t know what CSA stands for: Community Supported Agriculture. The real definition: Boxes of local organic veggies appear weekly in my garage.) I love it and I hate it.
I love it because, hey have you ever tried a sweet potato that was picked only days ago? I can’t stress this enough: The taste and texture are incomparable. This week I baked one, peeled the skin, and ate it like a banana. It was such a pleasurable experience. I also love my CSA for the broccoli, spinach, red potatoes, garlic, carrots, onions, tomatoes (oh, I wish I could get those tomatoes all year!), and cucumbers I get in my boxes.
And why do I hate it? The endive, kale, breakfast radishes, Swiss chard that show up– you know, the stuff that’s really hard to cook. (And I’m not even counting the green beans, beets, fennel, eggplant, and escarole that I pass along to my mother.) I don’t like wasting food, and there’s always something that I can’t or don’t want to use. As the drop-off point for the CSA, I get stuck with the food that people fail to pick up, too. Last year, we had a lot of extra boxes lying around, so I would mix in my unwanted veggies and drop everything at the local food pantry. This year’s group of subscribers is way more conscientious. There have only been three or four weeks when people have forgotten to pick up their shares, so I’m left wondering what to do with my extra kale or bunch of cilantro. I figured it would be too weird to drop off a small bag of mixed greens so — I am embarrassed to admit it — sometimes I just threw everything into the compost bin.
I’m really trying to do the right thing for my family, the environment, and my health, but because of the wasted veggies I am considering giving up my share next year. How sad is that? Damn you, kale!