Most CSAs and farm-shares have sent their last boxes of winter vegetables and closed up shop for the season. Now that we've had a chance to catch our breath (and finish eating our leafy greens!), we thought we'd take a moment to reflect - how was your CSA experience this year?
Like many of you, this was my first year doing a CSA. I absolutely loved getting the fresh produce every week and I also really loved feeling like I was part of the community. I got to know the farm a lot better and became friends with the people at my weekly pick-up. I was fairly pleased with the weekly variety, and especially pleased with all the potatoes, squashes, and beets we'll be eating well into the winter months.
But I'll be honest with you, I found the whole experience a little tough. Some of it was the standard CSA complaint of getting overloaded with one thing and not enough of something else. I seriously never thought I'd get so tired of corn! Or so desperate for tomatoes!
I also found the CSA pretty limiting. I couldn't really justify buying a lot of extra produce to supplement what I got in my box because I knew that I would have a hard time eating through everything as it was. Plus I didn't have a lot of extra money in my food budget. It was disheartening to walk by so much great produce and know I wouldn't see a lot of it in my box.
In our house, we did pretty a pretty good job of eating through or freezing everything from our box each week, though it definitely took some concerted effort! I discovered that I really like eggplant, but radishes still aren't my favorite. The only thing that routinely got wasted was lettuce. I really tried to use it up! Drat that lettuce!
All in all, I'm not entirely sure if we'll do the CSA again next year. I feel divided and unsure about what is best for me and what is best for this farm, economically and socially.
We'd love to hear your own experiences and thoughts on the CSA program!
Related: Conscientious Cook: Which Foods to Buy in Bulk
(Image: Flickr member Ken Wilson licensed under Creative Commons)