There are a lot of reasons to take advantage of Community Supported Agriculture programs, or CSAs, for locally grown produce. Since there were always good farmer’s markets near us in the city, though, I never participated in one. Out here — though there’s a weekly summer market in walking distance — I decided to give it a go, and have realized one distinct and very practical advantage: meal planning.
Even at a farmer’s market, I rarely can think beyond two nights’ worth of meals, or else I buy things that look good without worrying about how they go together. But the woman who runs our CSA does a wonderful job of including items that complement one another and, in many cases, that provide just the right amount of inspiration to get me over the “well, what should I eat for dinner?” indecisives.
Of course, she also includes things I might overlook at a market, like celery, which I’d only ever buy in service of something else. Turns out, it’s delicious grated with apple and lemon.
Do you use a CSA?