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CSA Year 4: the good, the bad and the beets

Yesterday, I went down to our local farmers' market in the pouring rain. A river practically ran through the middle of the market. I expected to see Pooh and Piglet float by, with Pooh's head firmly stuck in that hunny pot. It was the kind of day I really appreciated having a CSA subscription. I walked briskly to our farm stand. Picked the box with the least water pooled in the lid. Stuck it all in my bag. Checked our name off the list. And I was back on my way home, with this gorgeous and slightly soggy bounty in tow:

You may recall that last year Heather gave up on the CSA. Too much produce to deal with in a timely manner. So I was left in a bit of a pickle. I toyed with the idea of doing the whole share on our own, but truthfully, didn't think we could handle it. A few friends said they were interested, and one family agreed to go in with us. They have loved it. We have loved it. We've worked out a similar system to what Heather and I used to do. We usually pick a time each Sunday to meet at the market. We divvy it up as close as we can down the middle. The other family is required to take the beets every time they appear. And we're all happy.

We are two weeks away from our CSA ending, and coming from how overwhelmed I was with it the first few years, I'm proud to say that I'm sad! I will miss these lovely, local, in season and organic veggies. The first week or so, when I switched from buying produce at the store to getting the box at the market, there was a little hiccup in my meal planning. Working with what I had instead of what I could simply plan to buy. But all in all, year four had been the charm.

So, if there's any take away from this post (besides the pretty picture of the fall harvest), it's that you may really have to give yourself time to grow into your CSA. If this was your first CSA year and you felt overwhelmed, don't kick yourself too hard. If this was your second year or beyond, and you're thinking about bailing out? Well, you know yourself better than I do. You decide what's best. I can honestly say, that on our fourth year, we are seasoned CSA pro's. It's been a dream. In two more weeks, when it's finished, I will miss that CSA box dearly until it starts up again next spring.


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