Here is an update of my CSA experience thus far. In my quest to find better quality food for my family, I’ve decided to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture Farm). While they offer vegetables, eggs, bread, flowers, and various meat, I’ve started out with a simple fruit share. So far I’ve had 5 weeks of CSA fruit.
- Week 1: Apricots & Apple Cider*
- Week 2: Apricots & Cherries
- Week 3: Apricots
- Week 4: Pitted Pie Cherries
- Week 5: Break (between crop harvests)
- Week 6: Peaches
So far, I’m fairly happy with my fruit. I drive to an old-fashioned neighborhood grocery store once a week to pick up my share (if you’ve lived in Manistique, think Barney’s). It’s a little place in the middle of a residential area that carries various groceries and has a small butcher shop. You bring your own bag, initial on the master list that you’re picking up your shares, and grab what you ordered from the right boxes. You have to be careful that you grab only what you ordered, or you can mess everyone else up. My only complaint about this so far is the location. I’m guessing it’s great for business to have all that traffic through the little grocery on CSA days, but it’s just about the most inconvenient location for me to get to in town. If that’s the worst of it, I’ll live.
I have been trying not to buy fruit on my regular grocery store trips, since we paid for this fresh fruit up front. The two exceptions are bananas (I need a lot of potassium right now and I’m not willing to give those up) and I bought some fruit the week there was none from the CSA. This has been working out fairly well.
Knowing I have a week to eat my fruit before getting more reminds me to get going and do something with it before it spoils. Sometimes I’m not so good at that, especially if it gets pushed to the back of the fridge and out of sight. I did end up tossing out just a few apricots that went bad and some of the cherries. I don’t actually like cherries and the husband didn’t think they were very good. The Colorado cherry crop has had some tough issues this year. The cider was awesome and I can’t wait to hopefully get more this fall. I’ve never eaten apricots very much and I had fun figuring out what I’d like to do with them. I found this recipe for Breakfast Apricot Crisp, which is great with vanilla yogurt. I also realized that apricots are very good in morning cereal or granola, or just for snacking. I made some cherry pie for my husband with the last batch of cherries and he said they were much better than the canned variety. I froze half of the pie cherries for later use.
So far, things are working out well. Let me know if you have any questions or recipe ideas!