Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Single Size Me: CSA's and the Single Person

Community Supported Agriculture is a great idea. What's not to love?  You're supporting local farmers, getting food that tastes like food and not plastic, and you're cutting down on your carbon footprint.  But for busy single people - students and retirees, for example,  CSA's don't always make sense.  First of all when the spring, summer, and fall harvests come in, the farmers' markets are in operation.  Belong to a CSA and you might get a box full of bok choy or zucchini and then have to figure out what you'll do with it all.  Go to a farmer's market and you can choose what you'd like to buy and you're more likely to eat it instead of add it to the compost bin.  A bigger reason is that when preparing food for one, even the half shares are too big, so again, the compost bin wins.  You could split a share, as many people do, but do you really want to share that box of strawberries and how exactly do you split a head of romaine or cauliflower?
One solution can be found at Heavens Harvest Farm of New Braintree, Mass because they sell single shares for the single eater with pick-up sites throughout Boston and Cambridge. How cute!  An apple, a couple of leaves of kale, a few potatoes:  what could be sweeter than a single share?  And though that particular size surmise is close, even the single share is substantial. Depending on the week, you receive mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, squash and pea shoots among other veggies and fruit.

Stick strictly to only locally grown produce in the winter in New England and you'll be eating more cabbage and carrots than you thought possible but the foodshed partnership means Heavens Harvest Farms will also supply some grapefruit and oranges and cherry tomatoes and strawberries from partner farms on the Eastern seaboard during those months when the pickins are slim in New England.

According to the website of Enterprise Farm, one of Heavens Harvest's partners,

"Our winter foodshed extends from the local to the north and south, sourcing fruits and veggies from organic East Coast growers. We include as much local produce as we can, including storage crops, onions, roots, and greenhouse-grown vegetables.
In addition, we partner with growers from Prince Edward Island to Homestead, Florida.   North Carolina keeps it interesting with sweet potatoes and cooking greens, Georgia brings us an early crop of strawberries (sometimes peaches!), and from our friends in Florida we enjoy tree-ripened citrus, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, and more.
The East Coast farmshare supports regional farmers and supplies us with variety, vitamins, and good health all through the winter months!"

My single winter share (winter? what winter?) CSA was wonderful. And it turns out that it's even more interesting and fun to get a random box of vegetables and have to be creative with what you'll do with what you get.  Instead of shopping and preparing the same ol' things, it was a pleasure to try new recipes, which the folks at Heavens Harvest Farm provide weekly on their website.

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