In Season

The CSA Chronicles: Week 16

By Stephanie Witt Sedgwick
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This summer and fall, In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick is sharing her experiences as a member of a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program.

CSA members pay in advance for a weekly delivery or pickup of produce and other fresh items from a local farm.

Here is her quick take for the week. Watch for her column, which appears on the first Wednesday of every month in Food.

To all my fellow CSAers who signed up only for the summer: big mistake. This is the time when the shares really deliver. I am not buying vegetables now because the CSA is providing almost all we need. My husband and I joke that we now belong to the green (food) party, and we have enough root vegetables for stews.

Because root vegetables keep, it has gotten easier to manage our produce and reduce waste. The day I picked up our share, I was still using last week's supply in a quick-braised pressure-cooker pot roast with red wine and carrots. The next night, I made soup with pork dumplings and baby bok choy.

The salad stuff rocks, which is evident in my ever-evolving arugula recipes. The salad I made in the spring with strawberries and balsamic vinegar has morphed into one with baby beets and ginger vinaigrette for the fall. The ginger root we received was milder than what I'm used to, so I added thin shavings of it to the salad as well. Sometimes a whole serving of beets can be a bit overwhelming, but my husband and I enjoyed them as players in a composed salad.

In the bag this week: 1 bunch of collards, 2 baby bok choy, 1 regular bok choy, 1 bunch of tatsoi (greens), 1 bunch of parsley, 1 bag of arugula, 1 head of Napa cabbage, 1 bunch of (six) baby beets, 1 pound of string beans, 1 knob of ginger root, 6 fat black radishes, a 2-pound sweet potato and all the eggplant and green bell peppers I wished to take.

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