Every year around this time, my niece has a birthday. Today is one of her more remarkable ones, in that she is turning 21. My niece, as it turns out, is a vegetarian. While I do take issue with some aspects of vegetarianism (note: I was vegetarian or pescatarean for 18 years), I take no issue at all with vegetables. In addition to celebrating my niece coming of age, today I celebrate the return of my vegetable CSA.
If you are not aware, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I currently belong to three CSAs, and have a fourth that I support in the winter months. While I love my meat CSAs (The Piggery, High Point Farms), I have to say that my vegetable CSAs are my favorites. First off, there’s a certain surprise factor to a veggie CSA. You get food you probably have never tried before (with meat, there’s some unusual products – e.g. headcheese – but there’s less “what is that?” going on). I have another blog, also needing updates but certainly in better shape than this one, at eatingmyshare.com. There you can read my thoughts about food, good eating, and how to make purslane chili, among other recipes.
This year I am also supporting a new monthly CSA from Frolic Farm. I’m very excited by this CSA, which includes artisan products along side my veggie share. First pick up is this Sunday. And Thursday is the summer launch for both meat CSAs (High Point is the one I’m skipping for the summer). I made a goal in 2010 to eat local 98 percent of the time, and I came close to that, probably approaching 90 percent. In winter, however, I really struggled, because I was dying for my greens. Mid-January I succumbed to buying imported produce (Argentine lettuce never looked so sweet after a couple months of beans, fermented veggies, squash and more beans). However, now that my refrigerator is about to “go Vermont” (I am friends with a couple that proclaim my refrigerator a “Vermont refrigerator” in the summer because it’s always overflowing with fresh produce), I am back to my local produce and am looking forward to today’s fresh picks.