One of the local farms here in Austin, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, has an excellent CSA box program that’s I’ve been hearing about for a long time. Ever since I watched Food, Inc. I’ve been trying to make adjustments in my food and lifestyle to support local seasonal produce, and finally, being done with school and having both the time and money to commit to it, decided to give the CSA box a try.
Some friends and I gave it a trial run back in August with a coupon we had for a one-time box, and I was thoroughly impressed. I showed up to the farmer’s market with a bag to retrieve my veggies, and was shocked by how much there was in the box! Additionally, since I was retrieving it at the market, I was able to trade anything out of the box I wanted for anything other items they had on the farmstand. As I was signing my name off the list, one of the farmers showed up with a truckload of canary melons and gave me a giant one as a free thank-you for supporting local farms.
Needless to say, Johnson’s Backyard Garden has hooked me since, and some friends and I decided to sign up for a subscription for their CSA box. Today we got our first of 10 boxes. Although I’m a girl who has been known to easily eat her own weight in delicious veggies, I’m super glad to be sharing the CSA with two other people – the produce is so fresh that I don’t think I’d be able to even cook it all before some of it started to turn.
Their website is especially cool, and they upload photos of their weekly boxes here: http://www.jbgorganic.com/guide/
Tonight I made an oven roasted sweet pepper and black bean ragu sauce with quinoa. It’s supposed to be lunch for tomorrow and Friday, but smelled so decadent I had to eat some tonight – dear goodness I’ve never had peppers taste so amazing and fresh!
The other thing about this CSA program is that they sometimes include vegetables that are a little lower profile/more exotic than what you’d find in the grocery store. Today’s box included Japanese salad turnips. Last week’s supposedly included kohlrabi. Kohl-whaaa? This will definitely force me to work outside of my comfort-zone of familiar vegetables, and that is one of the most exciting things. Challenge accepted.
So the CSA box experience…I’m excited to share more recipes/foodie ideas as we progress through the weeks! 🙂