The Next CSA: The Community Supported Kitchen
Sometimes the benefits of a full box of CSA vegetables is lost in the everyday stress of life. You want to whip those carrots and potatoes into something delicious for dinner, but you just worked a 10 hour day and now all you can bring yourself to do is order take out. But what if you could get your takeout from a place that was equally as committed to local, healthy food as you are?
Well, there’s the 608 Community Supported Kitchen, a very cool business venture just outside of Madison, Wisconsin. Essentially it’s a meal-delivery service, and subscribers get two prepared meals every week. But the unique aspect is that food is sourced from local farms and markets. In other words, take out that you can feel good about.
While meal delivery services are nothing new, what’s unique about this one is that the business is modeled after a CSA structure, with members purchasing “shares” that entitle them to a portion of the meals the kitchen prepares each week. That means that the kitchen can cook in bulk and subscribers benefit from tasty, local meals that change every week. In fact, you never know what you’re going to get, similar to what happens when you go to get your CSA box. If it’s root vegetables that week, then it’s root vegetables for dinner.
Of course, regular take out gives you an endless options of choices, and can be ordered at any minute, but the beauty of this model is much like shopping for local and seasonal foods, it keeps you eating them even when you’re feeling a bit lazy. We probably all like to think that we commit to good eating habits, but the reality is that every once in awhile it’s easy to go for the frozen pizza. A service like this keeps you eating locally, seasonally and sustainably and gives you a couple of nights off from cooking in the process.
There are all kinds of culinary inspiration in the meals, from Moroccan Chick Pea Stew, Beef and Rice Kofta, Grilled Z’aatar Flatbread to Sweet Corn Empanadas, Refried Kidney Beans, Spanish Rice; the kind of foods that make you look forward to finding out what the kitchen is cooking for you next week.
Meal delivery services that offer fresh, local food are becoming more and more common, especially in food hubs like San Francisco and New York, but it’s encouraging to see small scale operations like this that really focus on the community aspect of food.
For now Madisonites are the only ones that can take advantage, but with such a cool business concept, we can hope that more operations like these will pop up in cities around the country. So, maybe it’s time to start your own CSK?
Photo Credit: ChefSteps