If you want to get more veggies in your diet and support a local farmer, join a CSA.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. And when you join a CSA, you’re buying local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Your “share,” “membership,” or “subscription” pays for a certain number of weeks of produce (or other items such as eggs or meat) up-front.
This helps the farmer’s cash flow and allows for their marketing to be done ahead of the busy harvesting times. And it allows you to have fresh produce, eggs, or meat delivered to your door or a drop-off point weekly.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume at least 2.5 cups of vegetables per day, but studies indicate that most Americans eat far less than that. Vegetables provide key nutrients that we each need, including dietary fiber, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, as well as vitamins A, C, K, E, and B6.
Our First CSA Experience
The first summer that our family had a subscription for fresh produce, a wider variety of vegetables landed on our table each week. So this spring, I signed up again.
I remember that first summer receiving some vegetables that I didn’t recognize or know how to prepare. But each week’s box was pure art, beauty directly from the earth.
Eye-catching rainbow chard arrived one week. I remember being amazed by its colors, but I couldn’t identify it! So I had to check the farmer’s weekly email, which listed everything that was in the box. And then I searched the internet for how to prepare it. (Saute it! Yes! I can saute!)
Beets, with their green tops still attached, arrived another week. And even though I grew up on a (cattle) farm and ate vegetables fresh from my grandparents’ garden, I still had no idea how to cook beets. I’d only known them to arrive at my table via a jar, pickled.
What a fun adventure eating was that summer.
So this spring, we signed up for another CSA share. Yes, it’s more money up front, but now I have fresh, local produce arriving weekly and can plan our dinner menus around that. If you live in a smaller household, you even could share a subscription with a friend or another family.
Here’s what arrived in the first box that I picked up Wednesday: arugula, garlic chives, green onions, broccoli rabe, green kale, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
Green onions were first this week on my list to cook. Having only experienced them as part of a larger recipe, I wasn’t sure what to do with two big bunches of them. Of course I searched online.
I found this recipe for grilled green onions, but I adapted it to my preferences. For my onions, I used the oven, set to 425 degrees. Then I placed the onions on a piece of aluminum foil and topped them with ghee, minced fresh garlic, two pinches of our Saveur Pomodoro Basil Mix, Himalayan salt, and fresh ground pepper. This is the before-cooking pic.
I created a tent with the foil and wrapped the ends, so the onions would steam. And I cooked them in the oven for about 10 minutes. They were delicious, mild and garlicky.
How to Join a CSA Near You
If you don’t have a local farm offering a CSA, visiting the local farmer’s market is your next best bet for getting fresh veggies onto your table.
It is possible to eat healthy without breaking the bank. It starts with intentionality and making one change at a time.
So what new vegetable will you try this week? When and where did you find it? Comment below, or send me a note to join our YGY Club Healthy Lifestyle group on Facebook, where for the past couple of weeks we’ve been challenging each other to “eat green.”
Welcome! I’m Amy, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. If you liked this article, please subscribe at this link so that you’re among the first to get any future recipes, information, and ideas that I share. And you can unsubscribe anytime; we both know that SPAM is not good for us, so we avoid it! Thanks for visiting.