Friday, June 22, 2012

Lettuce (try to) be thankful

Since this is a rebuilding year for the vegetable garden, I decided it was a good idea to subscribe to a local CSA. The web site was a bit confusing, and I am pretty sure that it said a small share (which is what I ordered) was just right for 1-2 people. If you look at it now, though, it says a half share is just right for 1-2 people. (Or you could look at it, but the site is down.) Anyway, I figured I could share some and freeze some, so no big deal.

The grower is Amish, so there is another person who handles the marketing and delivery. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but she has got to be the most disorganized person in the world. It took much back and forth, by phone and by email, before I was satisfied that I was really signed up. Then there was much back and forth, by phone and by email, to get straight which location and day I had chosen, and when delivery started. Finally, finally I started receiving my share, but today when I picked it up, there were two other women trying to pick up their shares as well, but their names were not on the hand-scrawled list.

If I had opened my box at the pickup location, I would have given it to one of them, because MY GOD, how much lettuce can one (or six) people eat?!? The temperatures have been in the 90's - shouldn't it have bolted by now? And ZUCCHINI?!? I sometimes don't plant zucchini until June, and this year I am already sick of it.

This CSA also sells to restaurants and at farmer markets, and I am beginning to suspect that the best and most varied selection goes to those customers. Beyond the tons and tons of lettuce, something I can't identify that appears to be a cross between celery and cabbage (and a favorite of flea beetles), and too many zucchini, I haven't seen much to get excited about: one white kohlrabi last week, one purple one this week, a scant pint and a half of strawberries all told, two sweet banana peppers last week, some incredibly gnarly radishes early on, etc. And some of it has been picked a day or two past its prime, like the snow peas (starchy) and broccoli (starting to yellow).

Am I being too picky? Is this what CSA's are like elsewhere? I imagined getting a boxful of vegetables similar to what I would get from my own garden, but maybe my expectations are too high given the realities of market gardening? The food is local and organic and fresh; with a few exceptions, it all keeps quite well in the refrigerator. And maybe, once lettuce season is over (and it will end, right?), there will be more variety and more stuff I can stick in the freezer.

One can only hope.


ErinFromIowa said...

Is your CSA like this one? I have kept up on them for years but have never joined due to finances. They seem to be very organized, personable and I have learned a lot reading their website.

ErinFromIowa said...

Abby said...

Turtle Farm looks much more organized. Mine does not identify the box contents, let alone provide recipes or a newsletter. Price is about the same, though. It is a lot of money to plunk down at the start of the season, but is reasonable for local organic produce.

Anonymous said...

We've thought of joining a CSA but this is not encouraging. However, we have friends who are members and I think their experience has been more positive.

Jason said...

Sorry, that was me.