I've always been intrigued by the idea of a CSA. I like the concept of supporting local farm. I like the idea that the farmer uses organic methods. What always concerns me is what to do with the vegetables we don't normally eat.
This year we put aside my wavering and took the plunge. We joined the Earth & Skye Farm in large part because it has a pick-up location close to us. The other advantage was that we could purchase a 1/2 share. This was important as we didn't know how much produce we'd get each week and purchasing a 1/2 share was a nice way to ease into the CSA.
Just before the first pick-up, our farmer Patti (yes, she signs her emails, your farmer Patti) sent an email saying basically, "It's been really, really wet this spring. We don't know what, if anything, will grow. If you want to get your money back, let me know now. Otherwise, we'll all go on this growing journey together."
I have to say this was both scary and reassuring. I don't know much about running a farm, so when the farmer says she doesn't think it's going to be a good growing season, I have to believe her. On the other hand, she was letting us know in advance, so she was putting good customer service practices into action. I held my breath and decided not to ask for a refund.
Now I'm glad we didn't get a refund. So far we have gotten a good supply of vegetables each pick-up and everything had been really, really fresh and tasty -- just like you'd imagine vegetables that came right off the farm should taste.
I'm still a little unnerved by some of our harvest. I have turnips and kohlrabi sitting in the fridge because I'm not quite sure what to do with either. I am still looking for a recipe that makes me say, "Let's cook it." At some point I'll have to face beets too. My only beet-eating experience comes from picnic salads. I have to figure out what to do with those too.
Would I do it again? So far I'd say yes. I know I wouldn't purchase some of the vegetables if I saw them at the Farmer's Market, but now that they are in the house, we're on a new eating adventure.