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Make the Most of Your CSA Box

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Make the Most of Your CSA Box

By Michelle, Gardenista

I loved having a box of organic vegetables delivered to the doorstep every week. Until about the third week.

“Oh look, kale again,” my husband said, peering over my shoulder at the contents, which included kale, kale, a head of cabbage, and kale.

I started delivery for the usual reasons: to support farmers, to connect the food on the plate to the field where it grew, and to force my children to eat more vegetables (or any vegetables, for that matter).

With a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box, you’re buying a share in one farm’s seasonal harvest. But it’s not like going to a farmer’s market (or even a good grocery), where a glorious universe awaits. The box is at the whim of the elements. Drought, pestilence, wind storms, wild fires, and even raccoons can affect the harvest, making every week a surprise.

To help deal with the challenge of putting your weekly bounty to full use, we rounded up some ideas for what to make for dinner after you open the box.

Above: Carrots and snap peas and turnips and … mystery greens. What to do with tough greens? Braise them. For a recipe, see Nourished Kitchen.

Above: Sprouts and strawberries and beets and purple carrots. For dinner: Sweet Roasted Roots With Carrot Top Gremolata; for a recipe, see Food 52. Image by Suzie’s Farm, via Flickr.

Above: Asparagus and onions and parsnips. For easy roasted parsnips, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and dice into one-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil and your favorite chopped herb (I like rosemary on parsnips) and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in one layer on a low-sided baking sheet and roast until crispy. Image by Bill Roehl, via Flickr.

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Read more: Eating for Health, Eco-friendly tips, Food, Green Kitchen Tips, Lawns & Gardens, Raw, Remodelista, Smart Shopping, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , , ,

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Gardenista is a one-stop sourcebook for cultivated living, a guide to outdoor design and gardening. Helmed by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista features inspiration, garden visits, and advice for all things outdoor living, from patios and peonies, to tables and terraces. Gardens matter, and Gardenista celebrates tomatoes on the fire escape as much as rolling acres of green.


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10:15PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

every week is definitely a surprise! during zucchini season i ate so much zucchini i never want to see it again!

5:35AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

thanks for this. and the links

12:18PM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

Great idea.

4:52PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Love, love, love kale...but three bunches in a week....not so much.

3:58PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

I started w/a CSA last month; have had 2 deliveries! Without question, the best tasting veggies/fruits I've had since I was a child, when I pulled carrots out of the ground & picked berries off the bushes & wash them w/the garden hose! I'm so impressed with the quality & variety...but would LOVE to find Kale in my box sometime!

2:07PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Mmmm. Roasted parsnips sound SO good!

7:18AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Here in Ontario Canada, we call it the Good Food box but it is the same idea....a box of assorted organic vegetables from my local farmer. When my kids were young, I thought it was a great way to incorporate vegetables into their diets. Each month we would collectively decide how we were going to prepare each vegetable when the time came to cook it.

6:57AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012


4:58AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012


4:48AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012


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