Tuesday, June 01, 2010

At least the food is good

Saturday, I went to the grocery store for the first time in three weeks, all thanks to the CSA. This is our first year ever to be a part of Community Support Agriculture, and we didn't know what to expect nor did we know if we would like it. The up front cost for us then was a bit of a gamble. It is a gamble that is really paying off.

The "farm" we support is a a collective of approximately 4 to five farms. The subscription is for a total of 27 weeks, averaging out to $30 a week. For $30, we've gotten an assortment of salad kits with radishes, carrots, peas, and greens, some herbs, braising greens, jams and pickles, bread, fresh eggs, fruits and vegetables. Our weekly pick up has without a doubt, influenced how we eat, not just what we eat. When Italian asks, "What's for dinner?" I don't answer with a protein item like, "steak" or "chicken." Instead, I reply with a vegetable. "We're having braising greens" or "We're having Mrs. Zook's salad kit" have become common answers. We've also eaten some foods I've never even seen before, ever.

Last week, we faced down a Lion's mane mushroom. This has been the most foreign food we've received, and it was delicious. It was accompanied by shiittakes and served with a steak and fresh tomatoes. The steaks came from the grocery store and did not taste nearly as good as the steaks we've purchased directly from the farm. At $8 more per pound than the farm steaks, I'm now researching the potential of joining a meat CSA.

Overall, we as a family, expected to pay more for food by buying directly from a local farm. Instead, we are finding we are paying less for food. Our $30 per week has almost completely fed us for the full week. We have gone out to eat twice in the last three weeks, when in the past, we would have had a restaurant meal at a minimum of twice per week. Our diet has also seen a shift to a vegetable focused diet instead of a meat based diet, and we don't miss the meat. We've also broken out from our eating ruts, trying new foods and discovering we like them. This week, I'll be tackling beets for the first time.

My knitting, has not been nearly as adventurous as my cooking. Maryland Sheep and Wool did pump some new and fun yarns and fibers and spindles into my stash. Sadly, they are all still in my stash. In an effort to be mynogomous (sort of), I've been knitting on the same lace shawl and Bohus sweater I began in March and February, respectively. For a few moments yesterday, there was a glimmer of hope the shawl would be complete and I could cast on something new. Then, the maniacly laughter of the knitting fates filled my head when I accepted what lay before. With just a few rows of border left, I ran out of yarn. The shawl and I are on a break.

From WIPs

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