In light of that, I'm happy to tell you about something so mundane that cheered me up today: I picked up my first CSA share today. CSA stands for community supported agriculture, which means I paid $400 for my share of a community garden, in this case run by a lay Marianist community, for the next 4 months. Put in practice, I go there every Monday afternoon and load up my bag or box with my share of whatever vegetables they harvested that day. Here's what my first pick-up looked like.
One of the disadvantages of the CSA is that I'll get produce I wouldn't buy at Kroger. For example, radishes. I don't like hot foods, so radishes taste like hot dirt to me. However, they gave me a newsletter today that listed all the vegetables I received, and included a recipe for roasted radishes with lemon. I'm definitely going to try that. I've also never tried mustard greens or flowers. They told me I might not like them because they're a little hot too. I tasted them though, and I liked them just fine. I'd never tried sunflower microgreens, and they were a tasty snack. I'm going to try growing my own microgreens in the future. They're a thing, you know.
One of the advantages of the CSA is the same as the disadvantage: I will try vegetables I normally wouldn't eat. See above. I'm going to eat everything I picked up today. Another is that all of this was picked just this morning, so it's clean and as fresh as can be. It was hard not to gorge and eat it all up.
Of course if I do that, the kids who run the CSA have a farm stand close by. I can always go on Fridays to stock up on more there where they have even more choices. I wrote about buying vegetables there last summer and shared a chard recipe I made up.
One thing I hoped for when I finally bought a house was space for a big garden. That's one thing I had to compromise on when I bought Harmony House last fall. So I'm planning the space I do have carefully, watching where the sun is this summer so I can use what space I have effectively. My house has a large footprint on the lot, so I know I won't ever have that large garden I hoped for.
So this year I also rented a space at the neighborhood community garden. It cost me $20, and I'm growing tomatoes and sweet Italian peppers there. I hope I get to pick most of what I grow. Apparently last year a lot of people misunderstood "community garden" to mean "come and pick what other people have grown here." I'm sure all of them thought, Hey, it's just a few tomatoes. We'll see how that goes. It's small and easy to care for, and it's something for Coraline and me to do together. But if it's not cost effective, I'll try something else to satisfy my green thumb next year.
|Here's what my garden looked like just after I planted it.|
What's growing in your life this summer?