I've told you about my CSA, mostly what I receive each week, but not much about where it comes from. The Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative is a nonprofit made up of 75 farmers from across Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A handful of organic farms contribute to my share each week. I receive a half share, enough for a small family, for about $19 a week. The share is delivered on Saturday to my neighbor's house, a few blocks away from mine.
On Wednesday I receive an email with a list of the contents I should expect on Saturday. Here's this week's list:
- 1 head green cabbage- transitional- Breezy Morning
- 1 bag blue potatoes- Forest View Farm
- 1 bunch leeks- Rolling Ridge Farm
- 1 bag purple sweet potatoes- Sunrise Ridge Organics
- 1 bunch gold beets- Windy Hollow Organics
- 2 pieces honeynut butternut squash- Riverview Organics
- 1 head baby romanesco cauliflower- Farmdale Organics
- 1 bunch purple mizuna- Sunny Slope Organics
- 1 bag freckled lettuce- Hillside Organics
- 1 bag salanova lettuce- Millwood Springs Organics
Sometimes there is a slight change and I receive a substitution. For example this week, I received turnips instead of blue potatoes.
What if you don't like what's on the list? You get what you get. Trying new vegetables and recipes is part of the fun. Plus, let's be real, I would never be eating this much cabbage or beets if it weren't for those farmers.
For those who are picky, there's a "swap box" at the drop off site and you can swap out something you don't like for something you do. For example, this week I swapped the purple mizuna for micro greens (which the full shareholders received and someone left behind) and traded the butternut squash for some brown potatoes.
In addition to the vegetable half share, I receive a dozen eggs ($4.50 a week), a loaf of bread ($4.75 per week), and an organic, free range chicken every other week ($22).
What am I going to do with all of these vegetables? Well we already ate the romanesco cauliflower, raw. I'm planning to roast the rest of the vegetables (leeks, potatoes, beets, and turnips) with one of the chickens using this recipe from Thomas Keller. I will probably use the leftovers for chicken soup, which will include some of that cabbage. I will use the lettuce for lunch salads. Gone!
I feel really blessed to live so close to these farms that deliver high quality, affordable produce. I wish everyone had access to such an amazing resource. Not everyone is so lucky.