Last week I fielded several, “What is a CSA?” type of questions. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Essentially it is when a farmer or rancher sells “shares” of produce (or meat) to members of the community before they are harvested. These shares provide the farm with capital for operating expenses and saves them from having to market. It assures them their produce will be sold, and guarantees an income, rain or shine, for the farm.
In return for paying upfront, the members get a “share” of the harvest. It is usually high quality, harvested right before you get it and, in my experience, a lot of produce.
Because of the inherent risks of farming (it all depends on the weather), members and farmers alike are not guaranteed anything. You may have a light year of tomatoes, but great harvest of corn or melons. You basically get what you get. By using this direct sales method, farmers guarantee that they have sold their crop which reduces their financial burden and consumers (members) get really great produce at a really reasonable price. Win-win.
We’ve purchased a CSA share every year since 2008. Both in Colorado and now that we’re here in Texas. I’ve written about it quite a few times. You can read all my CSA related posts by selecting the CSA category here or from the drop-down menu on the right side bar, and I’ve provided a few links to CSA related posts at the bottom of this post.
This is what we got in Sunday’s share from Koch Ranches:
Okra, 3 green bell peppers, eggplant, 4 saucer squash, 2 yellow squash, arugula, collard greens, 4 pints of cherry tomatoes, a cucumber, another cucumber that I think might be a white Puneri Kheera cucumber, 2 field tomatoes, purple carrots, radishes, sage, basil, parsley, garlic chives, 1.6 lbs beef short ribs, 1 lb ground goat, and a dozen eggs.
Wednesday’s share from Scott Arbor had:
A cantaloupe, basil, eggplant, yard-long beans, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, jalapenos, sweet peppers, cucumbers and okra.
With all of this, we are planning to have:
Sunday: Herb flatbread with a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. I substituted homemade pizza crust instead of making the naan bread, since I didn’t have buttermilk on hand. I guess it was really fresh herb pizza.
Monday: Goat sliders with grilled saucer squash and green beans.
Tuesday: Eggplant focaccia bread and cherry tomato salad
Wednesday: Ratatouille with pasta
Thursday: Beef short ribs with mashed potatoes and okra
Friday: Herbed sweet-pepper omelets with arugula-cucumber salad
Saturday: Bacon-jalapeno poppers with yard-long beans, grilled squash, and whatever else we have left and can throw on the grill. Yep – that’s how I roll.
I guess I better make some pesto. And I might try to persuade Rick into making some zucchini bread if we haven’t eaten the zucchini by Saturday.
A side note, San Antonio is getting ready to have a Hatch chili festival. I am very excited about this, since being a Colorado girl, I am missing my green chiles. What is UP with TexMex and no sauce???
- Thrifty Thursday: Joining a CSA Farm
- Making the Most of Your CSA Share
- UH Boot Camp: Building a (Food) Budget
- UH Boot Camp: Eating Well Without Breaking the Bank