MY SEASON OF CSA OPTIMISM

Keeping Your Relationships Fresh 

by Tamsin Putputt-Carr



My new husband and I have been trying to save money by eating out less, and attempting to eat healthier with organic vegetables –which isn’t easy living in a large metropolitan area. So after being on a waiting list for 2 years, when a membership spot opened in our local CSA (Community supported agriculture, not Confederate States of America or Casting Society of America) -we jumped on it. 

If you’re not familiar with a CSA, members “buy-in” for a growing season (usually Mar-Nov)to a “share,” a portion of a local (within 50 miles) farm’s organic crop yield for that week. This helps support local farmers by pre-selling their produce, and allows members to purchase local organic vegetables from somewhere closer than Chile or a GMO Food-Space Satellite in near-earth orbit. On the designated night of the week, members pickup their share at a designated central location at which the farmer’s drop off their food in share boxes, and volunteers check in members that come to pick them up. Not having a car, it’s an added bonus to get exercise carrying the 15-20 pounds of boxed vegetables the 10 blocks home. 

Another option for local organic produce in a big city is the Farmer’s Market. But why spend prime brunch-time picking out $30 worth of vegetables, when you can have them selected for you, and pick them up on your way home from work? 

To minimize the expense we decided to split our share with another couple, halving our investment to $35 every-other-week.

Being young urban professionals on a hectic schedule, we appreciated another feature of the CSA: weekly suggested recipes to make use of that week’s CSA vegetables. 

Below are some highlights of the season and our results.

Recipes courtesy of LaGuardia CSA and the Gold Bond Flour Cookbook (1919)



Week 1:

Macedoine Salad 

It is generally best to use potatoes for the body of the salad, adding other vegetables to give color and flavor. 

9 Semi-diced Russett (or Idaho) potatoes
1 heads fresh spinach (2 heads are better than 1)
1 head Duse Lettuce
4 extra-plump heirloom tomatoes
1 clove of garlic (bruised)
1 extra-large jar mayonaisse
12 green-beans
1 nasturtium bloom
1 jar store-bought gherkins (optional)
2 drams pickled beets
2 lbs ice

Marinate each vegetable separately, add French dressing. 

Set on ice to cool before serving. Rub the salad bowl with a bruised clove of garlic before arranging the salad. Serve with more French dressing or Mayonnaise. Garnish with nasturtium, gherkins, pickled beets.

Result: 

 My husband nearly forgot to pick up the veggies, even though it’s on the same night every week. He managed to make it just in time before they closed, and realized he forgot his keys at work. He waited at a cafe for 2 hours until I was home from my Gothic Knitting circle. He put them in the fridge when we got home, and then we proceeded to argue for 2 hours, going to bed without speaking to each other. I thought it best not to bring up the subject the next day, and we made up over Chinese food (chicken with broccoli).



Week 3

“Asparagus in Ambush” 

2 bunches cooked asparagus
1 tablespoon Gold Medal flour
1 cup scalded milk % teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
6 rolls 

Cut off the tops of the rolls to serve as covers. Remove the crumb, dust the shells and covers with melted butter and brown in the oven. Make a white sauce of the milk, butter and flour. 

Cut the tender part of the asparagus fine, cook a few minutes in the white sauce ; fill the rolls with the mixture, place on the tops and serve hot. 

Result: 

Picked up in good weather, not locked out. Inlaws visited this week, mother-in-law very judgmental, put off cooking for her. Asparagus wilted.  

Week 7

Jerusalem Artichokes 

8 lbs Jerusalem artichokes
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp powdered sugar

These are tubers which grow wild in the eastern part of the United States and Canada; being free from starch, they may be eaten uncooked. 

To Bake: Boil until about halftone then peel and put into a baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper to taste. Dust with 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar and bake a good brown. Baste with butter. 

Result: 

Husband in ER with dehydration from food poisoning. Distracted from Jerusalem Artichokes. Which is good, because I hate Jerusalem Artichokes. 

Next year I think we will just go to the farmer’s market.