Experiences with CSAs [Moved from Home Cooking Board]
I'm a budding chef at the moment... making recipes here and there whenever i have the chance... just trying to expand my knowledge of different foods and such having grown up most of my life just eating rice, beans and chicken...
I've been considering joining a local CSA (Park Slope CSA in Brooklyn, NY) or (Washington Square CSA in New York, NY) and was wondering if anyone on the board has been part of a CSA at one point or another, and what their experiences were.
Did you find yourself throwing out the vegetables too often? If so, how often were you cooking with them? If not, how often were you cooking that you were finishing up all the veggies?
One of my main concerns is not cooking often enough to finish up the vegetables... But i thought to myself, it is so much more inexpensive for me to get some veggies this way, then go to the local supermarket and pick them all up there separately. Along with that, i feel like random vegetables being thrown at me will help me expand my knowledge of different products, and learn new styles of cuisines... I can definitely see myself being disciplined enough to take the vegetables given to me and attempt to make an entire 3-4 course meal out of it every week and just trying to get all creative with what I am given to work with.
I just joined the Sunnyside CSA. My sister and i are in a share with another girl and her boyfriend. There are always people looking to split shares in Sunnyside, so I would bet it would be the same in Park Slope.
Also, check the websites to see if they have a weekly newsletter. Usually those have what is in the share for the week with recipies, so you could get an idea of how much you are actually getting.
I just got my very first delivery from our CSA, and it's my first year trying this too. The CSA we went with has larger family shares and smaller shares - since there is just two of us, I went with the smaller share, and as it turns out, it will be perfect for us for the week. We got:
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 head of broccoli
1 bag of spinach (probably comparable to the large supermarket bags, I'd guess)
1 bunch of red chard
1 pint of strawberries.
We got the box on Wednesday. The husband inhaled all the strawberries immediately. I used all the chard last night in a pasta dish that makes 4 servings (banked the extra servings for lunch). I used about half the romaine and smaller amounts of the broccoli and spinach to make a chef salad for the two of us for dinner the same night we got the box. I'm sure the rest of the romaine, spinach and broccoli will be gone by the time we get the next box next week - most of it will be eaten raw, though some of the rest of the spinach could end up in a cooked meal.
If this amount sounds OK to you, see if either of those CSAs does a smaller share - I'd have to imagine they would in such a large city. I too am looking forward to getting creative with some of the stuff I wouldn't buy on my own.