Diary of a CSA

Strawberries for a summer spritzer

This year I finally remembered to join a local CSA. For those of you who are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, it’s a Community-Supported Agriculture program that connects you with a local farm so you get fresh, seasonal produce every week straight from the farm. Think of it as a farmer’s market club membership, except that instead of having to go to the farmer’s market, the market comes to you! A few months ago, after some extensive research, I came across the Chelsea CSA, which is supplied by Stoneledge Farm, run by the Kavakos family and located in upstate New York. Every Tuesday night from June through August, I will rush out of the office with paper bags in tow to pick up my vegetable share at Hudson Guild on 26th street.

It’s only been two weeks, but I’ve already been pushed out of my comfort zone. Picking up a load of fresh and sometimes obscure produce has made me quickly learn about local foods and become more creative. For example, when I first got a handful of garlicscapes (the young part of the garlic plant that has a mild garlic flavor), I had no idea what I was going to do with them. But the Kavakos came to the rescue: in a weekly newsletter they send out to members, they had featured a fresh garlicscape pesto recipe. It was simple, flavorful, delicious, and turned out to be an utter success. Although some dishes have been more delicious than others, it’s inevitable to get excited and look forward to the prizes in my weekly goodie bag. Now I get to experience the bounty of the summer, while supporting what’s local and in season. Here are some shots of the kitchen throughout the past two weeks. Enjoy!

There's a garden in my kitchen! Garlicscapes, sage, mizuna, butter lettuce

Garlicscape Pesto Pasta and Butter Lettuce Salad with Sage Flowers and Ricotta Salata

I got some rhubarb this week! Preparing a Rhubarb and Strawberry Spritzer

Strawberries bathed in afternoon light

I see color! Squashes, radishes, oregano, escarole

Dinner: Summer Squash Carpaccio and Escarole, Garlicscapes and White Bean Stir-fry

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