Eat Your Veggies!

I am in love with fresh fruits and vegetables–especially those locally grown, whether from a local farm or my grandmother’s garden. Have you noticed how different they taste from what you typically purchase in the store? Fruits and veggies lose flavor and nutrients as they travel from whatever their source of origin (California, Brazil, etc.) to your grocery store. No wonder why so many people don’t like to consume greens–what they normally purchase really does lack flavor! I notice this often when I buy strawberries or tomatoes from the supermarket.

I NEVER noticed the difference when I was eating food just to eat. I wasn’t always stuffing my face and belly to the point of overeating, but I never really noticed food. Now I do. And, as a result of this, I started looking up CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and hope to participate in one this season. Unfortunately, one is already booked, so I’m waiting to here from another that’s a few extra miles away. Here’s how it works:

You become a member and pay a fee (ranging from about $350 for a half share to $600+ for a full share). In return, you are guaranteed a portion of whatever produce (sometimes also herbs and flowers) the farm produces each week during their growing season. You don’t get a say in what you get–it’s whatever is in season and whatever the farm grows (they typically publish or provide you with a list of what they grow).

It’s a great way to get exposed to new fruits and veggies (many farms actually provide you with recipes either through their website OR upon request). It’s also an opportunity to eat affordably, organically and locally. It supports the local economy and small business/small farms. I am looking at purchasing a half share which should provide enough produce for 1-2 people for the week (admittedly, I may still need to get some staples–like onions–at the store). It will average out to $15/week. Seriously? I spend $25+ on my weekly produce now! Because I spend so much money at the grocery store, I tend to avoid “risky” picks like some of the more exotic options out there. If I joined this CSA, here is what I’d eat:

arugula * salad greens * beets * broccoli * cabbage * carrots * cauliflower * celery * collards *cucumber * eggplant * garlic * green beans *green onions * hot peppers * kale * kohlrabi * lettuce * mustard greens * peas * potatoes * radishes * spinach * sweet peppers * swiss chard * tomatoes * turnips *fresh herbs * fresh flowers (some edible ones too!)

Other places I’ve researched also include asparagus, berries, rhubarb, mushrooms, various types of squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yellow or red onions, brussel sprouts, corn, various types of melon and grains.

Is anyone seeing a downside to this? I certainly don’t!

To find out about a CSA near you, go here!

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6 responses to “Eat Your Veggies!

  1. I think CSAs are awesome options, and I can’t wait to see what you decide and what you get! 🙂

    In response to your question to me the other day, I have been staying up later than was previously my habit since I started blogging. I used to go to bed by 10. Now… sometimes its more like 12. I still get at least 6 if not 8 hours, however, because I’m not an early bird to work. Some mornings, I don’t get up until 8!! I’m trying to shift my schedule back about an hour (an hour earlier to rise and an hour earlier to bed), but we’ll see how that goes.

  2. I’m committing to trying new veggie recipes this summer and hope to get Mark Bittman’s How to Make Everything Vegetarian for inspiration. There should be lots of new recipes and photography starting in May/June!

    Thanks for the sleep info. I get 7-8 hours and still feel like I could use more oftentimes.

  3. You should so move to the UK if you are in love with fresh veggies – the produce here is absolutely AMAZING!! I would have never believed how much better it is here if I didn’t live here. As an added bonus there are tons of local produce markets and organic produce clubs — in fact, today (Thursday) is my delivery day and I got my mixed veggie box today. I really wish the States would hurry up and duplicate the incredible veggie service I get over here…my veggie box has helped me try new foods and gives me great recipes to try.

  4. Mark Brittman’s Vegetarian book isn’t bad – I do have it – but it’s not as good as his how to cook everything book. Still worth buying.

  5. Ooooh…. maybe I’ll add the How to Cook Everything book to my birthday list as well! I’m starting to accumulate quite the collection of cookbooks!

  6. Locally grown is much better… mass produced farming is so different.. i read how on tomatoes they pick them when they’re green and how one of the chemicals that are sprayed on them cause them to change red to look ripe when they actually never ripen… gma’s tomatoes are always best… even though they aren’t as “pretty” as store toms..

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