I'm a CSA convert. When I started eating locally I started at the Farmer's Markets. I enjoyed the shopping experience, and wasn't sure I wanted to have my food picked out for me, instead of picking it myself. Besides I had no idea what to do with Bok Choy, or a Kohlrabi, anyway, so I'd rather just buy my "Normal" veggies instead.
Well, in the Spring my friend Abe announced he was going to have a CSA. Great, I thought. Abe is fabulous, I buy from him at the markets every week, anyway, now I can help support him in the beginning of the year when money lots of money is being spent, but nothing has grown enough to sell, to bring any money in. Besides, Abe grows all the "normal veggies", so I still wouldn't need to figure out what to do with Bok Choy.
The CSA season was great! I shopped at markets far less often, as a result, which saved me money on impusle veggie purchases, and kept my budget for food more predictable. The share was pefect to round out what was coming from my garden, and gave me enough extra of things like carrots, so I could dehydrate for winter. It was a sad day when I went for my last pick up.
Enter, Wake Robin Farm. I heard about their Fall/Early Winter CSA, and now that I know what to do with Bok Choy, and Roasted Kohlrabi is delicious, I figured I'd join that one next. Boy am I glad I did. The amount of food in this CSA requires a serious focus to finish in one week, for a family my size. But we are having a great time. I had no idea how amazing Collard Greens are after the frost. No way anyone could have made me believe how sweet it is.
One item that we have gotten each week is Jerusalem Artichokes, or Sunchokes. They are very tasty, but I wasn't finding a way that I really enjoyed eating them. They are softer inside than the skin is, but they are sort of weirdly shaped little things, so peeling them seems impractical. Well, tonight I found a great recipe that allows me to enjoy the flavor, not have to peel, and not have to deal with the textural wierdness that I find the skin to be.
Cheese and Artichoke Chowder. I used parmesan cheese because I didn't have gruyere, but otherwise it was the same. I also threw a dollop of Creme Fraiche on top, instead of the recommended garnish. What a great light dinner on a long cold day.
I'm excited to pick up my next bag from Wake Robin. In the mean time I will be enjoying some greens sauteed in garlic and butter for dinner, Roasted Kohlrabi with radishes...because I learned that roasting radishes makes them sweet, rather than spicy. Great information to file away for next year, for my fall planting. Radishes grow so fast, and keep in the ground, quite well.
This past Saturday was the first of the Seacoast Winter Markets, and it was at Wentworth Greenhouse. So Fun!! I really missed those markets. Having everyone, all my favorite vendors and those I'm just learning about, in one place, bumping into friends and acquaintances among the crowd of people. So Fun. I'm glad for this season.