This week, we’re sharing a post from member Andrew, who wrote an amusing yet useful piece on his personal blog about his experience with the CSA. This essay was original published on Andrewfoundland: A Place For Things. Photo by Core Group member Jen W from the farm trip.
I joined a CSA this summer, which may have been a foolhardy step for someone who a) doesn’t like to cook, b) has no one to feed but himself, and c) spends most mealtimes outside of the house. There is the added complication that my pickup date is Wednesdays no later than 7:30, which will be a problem when orchestra rehearsals start up again in September, but we’ll burn that viola when we come to it.
The main challenge is using all the food before it goes bad. People keep telling me to freeze stuff, which is a very practical suggestion, but I just know once it goes into the freezer it’ll never come out. There’s also the suggestion of drying things, like herbs (which I am in fact doing with the chamomile, because what the hell else am I supposed to do with it), but that seems to defeat the purpose of having fresh herbs. Still, I may take some of these recommendations, because storing it all in the fridge and blasting through it before nature reclaims it is not exactly working at 100%.
My main strategies are these:
- Invite friends over for dinner. My friends are starting to realize that when I invite them over for dinner, I’m really inviting them over to cook for me (well us). It’s not your traditional dinner party, but it works well for my friends who like to cook, who have small kitchens, and who like free food, and it works especially well for me.
- stilltasty.com is a website that will tell you not only how long you can expect your food to last, but also how to store it. From it I have learned not to put basil in the fridge.
- Bring the fruit to work. Nothing makes a bunch of coworkers happier than a bunch of free fresh fruit. My first week I left two pints of strawberries in my fridge to die, but the second week I brought the cherries in to share (plus made this at home) and used almost all of them. Current challenge: plums. I just ate two of them while typing this bullet (and now my keyboard is a little sticky, but fortunately it’s my work computer).
- Just give it away. Farm-fresh produce makes a great thank you gift. My neighbor who watched my cats availed herself of some broccoli, and my friend who picked up my CSA haul one week relieved me of the minzuna and epazote, and thank goodness.