I Joined a CSA!

Cooking / Eating In

If you’ve been following my tweets, you may have noticed my veggie-focused tweets this past week.  Yes, I, the extremely veggie averse, have joined a CSA!  A CSA, or “Community Supported Agriculture,” gives city dwellers like myself access to fresh, organic produce at a lower price than offered at my local supermarket.  The CSA I joined, Fulton Market CSA, partners with Norwich Meadows Farm, a few hours away from NYC.  Members pay up-front a few months before the growing season, and the farm uses those funds to purchase seeds and supplies.  In return, we get 22 weeks of fresh produce.  One of my favorite things thus far is the element of surprise; you never know what you’ll get each week!

Last week was my first pick-up:

Each vegetable was categorized into separate green bins, with each share’s amount (i.e. 3 beets or 1 lb of greens).


There was also an exchange box – if there’s any veggie you don’t like, you can put it in the exchange box and remove a different veg from the box:

The veggies available in Week 1:

One of my favorite things was digging through the veggies to find the perfect beets or radishes. I’m going to have to learn what makes a “good/ripe” veggie vs. another.  Any tips?


I had never seen the below veggies before – turns out they are garlic scapes, which make the best and stinkiest (in a good way) pesto ever.

Here’s a rundown of what I got in Week 1’s pick-up:

Dino Kale


Garlic Scapes
Fresh Garlic
Spring Onions



I still need to learn how to store these vegetables properly. This past week I’ve been frantically consuming them so I wouldn’t waste any – I’ve got a bunch of recipes to share with you, so stay tuned!  I’m picking up Week 2’s loot this evening, can’t wait!

Have you ever joined a CSA? Would you consider joining one?

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  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 8:53 am

    The garlic scapes look really interesting. I have never heard of them before! Can't wait to see what recipes you come up with!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Yum!! I used to be in one at my work where the farmer would come to our office, but then I moved office buildings and I left it behind. I really miss it! Also Mina had a recipe with garlic scapes if you want to check it out!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I really want to join something like this, but am afraid with our unpredictable schedules that the produce will spoil before we get to it. I've never heard of garlic scapes before!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Love CSA's!! Since we go to the farmer's market every week, we are not members, but the concept is something I support 100%!

    I made an onion and garlic scape soup the other day and it was SO flavorful! Love it!

    Also, I have no idea what to do with Chard. I'll have to buy it one of these times because it's so pretty! I just have to figure out what to do with it!

    It'd be fun for your next Chef's Challenge to have two in-season, fresh ingredients to work with!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I've been thinking about joining a CSA too, but I'm worried about the surprise aspect of it. I'm not sure I'd know how to cook everything, so I can't wait to hear more about what you come up with to do with your shipments!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Surprise! It's radishes! I love the idea of a CSA. The veggies look so fresh and you are supporting farmers!

  • Reply
    San Jose Love
    June 29, 2011 at 11:59 am

    wow. I've always wanted to join. How much did it cost? I think CSA's in California just drop off a box to your house. You don't get to go pick your own items. Garlic scapes are preserved as Korean side dishes. It's yummy! Can't wait for your recipes.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Wow! Yum! This is such a great concept. I wonder if we have any out here. My parents go to the Farmer's Market every weekend, but they've also started their own garden, so we have fresh radishes and lettuce, right in our backyard!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I love CSA'S! And you got some great looking produce there- have fun trying out all your new veggies!!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    The veggies look delicious, in part to your increasingly awesome photos! You did a great job capturing the texture and the lighting is great!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I've never heard of/seen garlic scapes before! But I love some stinky garlic so if you say it's stinky and awesome, I'm in.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    In selecting produce, I'm completely superficial, going for color, perkiness, & overall prettiness. That has served me well. What a fun way to add veggies to your life! I'm particularly curious about what you are going to do with that gorgeous kale.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Hot Cocoa
    June 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I'm loving your crisp photos of the goodies!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    It all looks so fresh! I would love to find a CSA near me.

  • Reply
    Try Anything Once Terri
    June 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I do want to join a CSA at some point, but it would have to be one where I could have a half share or be in a time and space in my life where I know our household consume all of those vegetables. That's not happening right now. 🙁

  • Reply
    Chic 'n Cheap Living
    June 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

    How fun! I'd love to be part of a CSA.

    I think garlic scapes are used a bit in chinese cooking (stir fried with pork or chicken)

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  • Reply
    June 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Wow, how cool! I'd love to do this if I had more time to cook. I look forward to seeing what recipes you share. 🙂

  • Reply
    honey my heart
    July 1, 2011 at 3:18 am

    a csa is such a wonderful thing! i haven't considered joining one because we eat out a bunch, but i would love to have access to such an array of veggies 🙂

  • Reply
    Jen @sitesnbites
    July 2, 2011 at 12:43 am

    I would totally join CSA if I was living in the states. Must be fun trying to think up meals to use all the produce!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Oh wow, this looks awesome! I totally want to join a CSA. The closest one that looks nice for us is a hydroponic farm, but it's about an hour away…so I'm still trying to decide if I want to make the hour drive every week to do it…

    I totally want to try garlic scapes…never heard of them, but if they involve the word "garlic," I want them!

  • Reply
    Meister @ The Nervous Cook
    July 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Your first CSA haul looks fantastic! I’m a brand-new CSA member myself (my company bought everyone on my team a vegetable share this year — amazing!), and can’t believe how much it’s changed my summer already, after only 3 weeks of pick-ups.

    In fact, I just posted about my own CSA on my blog today, so it’s funny that I would stumble on Big Apple Nosh this afternoon (courtesy of The Amateur Gourmet). I’m so glad I did, though — can’t wait to read more about what you’re cooking and eating.

  • Reply
    Growing Garlic
    July 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Incredible function! This will be the kind of information that should be all about the internet. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post near the leading!

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