Tuesday, November 8, 2011

CSA Year Two -- Year-End Wrap Up OR "What I Learned From Being in a CSA"

So...at this point, a couple of weeks after the CSA share year ended, I really don't remember what kept me from posting those last few weeks. One of my friends got married and I was very involved in that. My brother and sister-in-law came for a visit the week before the wedding. I think Life in general happened to be perfectly honest. And I will also admit that near the end of the CSA year I got a little food burn-out. I feel horrible admitting that, to be honest. I mean, how could you get sick and tired of GOOD FOOD?!

So, so you don't feel left out, we're going to try something here. Look at this year in review slideshow!

The food burnout made me consider some things. Things I learned about myself or about food in general. So, I choose to share a list with you of the things I learned.

Top Five Things I Learned From my CSA

#1.) GOOD FOOD Takes Time
Now, I know, I really should have known that before. And I did, I really did. I knew it ahead of time. Growing up in a very agrarian household, I knew about the time commitment. Either Mark Bittman or Michael Pollan, in one of their books, discuss a dinner party one is hosting. He (whichever one it is) gives a timeline and discusses all the preparation it takes to pull off a dinner party from all homemade foods. The timeline really goes from 6AM until the dinner party at 9PM or so. There were some weekends I did nothing but can. A risotto I made with the butternut squash took close to an hour to make - not the mere 35 minutes the recipe suggested. Planning for meals took a little longer as you have to wait until Friday to pick up your food and then go from there. While making your meal plan you have to consider what to use earlier and what will keep a little longer that you can use later in the week.

#2.) When it Comes to Cooking, I am Pretty Creative
So many meals came from me being inspired by my share items. Beets? I don't really like beets, but I'll try this recipe! "Lemon Balm? What do you do with Lemon Balm?" (other than use it in tea) You (if you means me) make Lemon-Lime jelly with it! Don't like squash (childhood trauma - I swear!)? Make Butternut Squash Risotto!

#3.) GOOD FOOD is REALLY Worth It!
Yet again, I knew this. I really did. It was so nice, barring the ability to garden in the new house like I wanted, to have fresh, good produce again. Grown locally and transported minimally. To have organic produce, bugs, dirt and all! The time I invested in preparing, cleaning, cooking and canning really was worth it. And, because of the canning, I will be able to prolong the harvest and enjoy my GOOD FOOD year round!

#4.) GOOD FOOD is Meant to be Shared!
Despite being a half-share, there was often more food than could be eaten. If I couldn't put it up for later, I'd share it, either by giving it to family and friends, or better yet, sharing it with them by cooking dinner for them! It really made me want to cook more for others. I mean, if I'm already putting all this time and love into prepping and cooking the meal, why wouldn't I want to share it with those I love.

#5.) GOOD FOOD Makes You Feel Better!
Again, another one I already knew. But it's not just a physical feeling you get from eating good, organic (as much as possible), local produce. It really is a mood-improver. I was proud of myself for everything I was able to cook, create, make on the fly. I was happy I was eating well and more sustainably. I was happy for less (expensive) trips to the grocery store!

And, with those things learned, the Winter CSA Share starts in December! Now, I know I can make monthly updates!