Friday, May 6, 2011

Community Supported Agriculture

I became interested in community-supported agriculture (CSA) shortly after reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma (which I highly recommend to anyone that is interested in learning more about their food, which should be everyone).  The idea behind CSA is that you, as the consumer of a farmer's goods, pay in advance for produce and other agricultural products, and you receive a share of whatever the farm is producing at that time, i.e., seasonal produce.  The farms are local (thus cutting down on the energy costs associated with transporting food across states, nations -- even oceans) and often organic, so you can feel good about the people you are supporting and the quality of ingredients you are receiving.

I joined the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative CSA because I wanted to support local farmers, and because I thought the highly variable contents of each week's delivery would force me to eat more fruits and vegetables and learn to cook with a wider variety of ingredients.  The cooperative includes 75 Lancaster County farms, and the CSA subscription runs 25 weeks, until late October.

This past Monday, I received my first share (right now it is only vegetables, fruits will start appearing later), conveniently dropped off at the CHOP building on 35th and Market:
  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Pink radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • White mushrooms
Now, I've eaten a lot of arugula, bok choy, and white mushrooms in my day, but I only occasionally eat rhubarb (almost always part of some strawberry rhubarb dessert) and radishes, and I've never cooked with either.  So far this week, I've made a salad with arugula, roasted rhubarb, radishes, and goat cheese, tried stir-frying radishes and radish greens, and made another stir fry with the bok choy.  I really enjoyed the radishes, the bok choy and arugula were of very high quality, but I am undecided on the rhubarb.  I have quite a bit left, so I froze the remaining stalks, and I think I might try making a traditional dessert out of them.

1 comment:

  1. A classic would be Rhabarberwähe: