allandale farm csa

This week was the start of our CSA!

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Over the past 15-20 years, it has become a popular way for people to purchase local, seasonal food on a normal basis.  Early in the year, farmers offer ‘shares’ of their produce (or eggs, dairy, etc) to the public.  You can usually purchase a whole share or a half share (basically, a share is a membership).  Each week come the summer, you pick up a box of fresh, local produce from your CSA!

This arrangement between the farmer and community creates rewards for everyone.

Rewards for the farmer:

  • They receive full payment early in the year which helps them to maintain cash flow at their farm.
  • Know that their hard work in the fields will go to use.
  • Are able to meet the people who are eating their produce!

Rewards for the consumer:

  •  Pay early in the year for local, fresh produce and not have to worry about it come summer/fall.
  • Know exactly where your produce is coming from and whether or not pesticides are used to grow them.
  • Get exposed to new produce.
  • Eat fresh, local, seasonal food all summer and fall!!

The only downfall is if the weather does not cooperate.  There is a shared risk in purchasing a share of the farmers crops, but it is one that I am willing to take.

Remember that not all local farms will be certified organic, however, that does not mean that they do not use the organic principles to grow their produce.  Obtaining an organic certification is a lenghtly and expensive process, so many farms do not participate.  My advice is to visit your local farm and ask them how they grow their produce!

Check out Local Harvest to find a CSA near you!

We joined a CSA at Allandale Farm in Brookline and pick up our box directly from the farm, so I know exactly where and how my veggies are being grown.

We purchased a half-share from the farm which will run from June through October.  Our CSA started last night when I went to pick up our basket of goodies!

Look at everything that we got!

So many greens!!!!  I love it. 🙂

Since our CSA only includes vegetables, I also picked up some fruit at their farm stand.

Allandale does not grow fruit, but they sell fruit from other local farms in the area.  The farms all work together to give their customers the best local and seasonal produce around!

I also picked up some plants for my porch.

And, some local frozen yogurt from Crescent Ridge.

Once I got home with my box of veggies, I washed everything to make sure no bugs were getting into my fridge (I found a couple ladybugs in the lettuce!) and stored them in large bags in the fridge.  Everything that we received was freshly picked yesterday morning, so it is as fresh as you can get!  But, it can’t hurt to store the produce well to keep it fresh.

Then, I made a huge salad for dinner!

I used my local green lettuce and mesclun mix dressed with a little olive oil, balsamic, honey and herbs.

With black beans, dried chickpeas, raw pumpkin seeds (for iron), native strawberries, a sprinkle of hemp seeds, salt, pepper and local goat cheese that I picked up at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market last weekend!

And, Rosemary Quackers from One Lucky Duck in NYC.

It is unbelievable how fresh the greens taste!  I can’t wait for the next 19 weeks. 🙂  I love being able to eat local and seasonal.

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One Response

  1. Love CSAs and I’m jealous that you got Crescent Ridge Ice cream! Thats always a guaranteed stop when we go back to Boston during the summer 🙂

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