This year, I signed up for Billico Junction's CSA. Billy is located in Lacombe, and offers pick up in Calgary. My choice was due to a number of factors, the main ones being convenient pick up location and the fact that they had a fruit option as well.
So for 15 weeks I was on my own personal version of Chopped... What am I getting this week? How could I possibly combine these ingredients into something tasty and original? Those were the question I answered with varying degrees of success.
Here is the rundown of some of the veggies I got to eat this harvest season:
- Fava beans
- Green Beans
- Spaghetti squash
...and for the fruit:
- Saskatoon berries
- Black currants
The best part of it was being able to eat and cook with produce I haven't cooked with in a long time or in some cases ever, such as spaghetti squash, raw pumpkin, fava beans, black currants and honeyberries. Knowing you are, albeit in a small way, helping out a local farm is awesome too. Through the CSA I was also able to buy organic local honey and eggs, and had the option to buy meats as well.
The main downside is of course not knowing what you are going to get - you might get something you don't like, or something you do like for 7 weeks in a row! I had to come up with some creative new ways to use up zucchini - which was actually great as zucchini pancakes and zucchini muffins were a hit at my house. I also tried pickling for the first time as I just couldn't eat any more roasted beets (I never thought I'd see the day...) Lastly, if you are used to the sterilized produce from the supermarket, the dirt and an occasional bug can be unnerving... But that's how you know it's really local and organic!
We will see if I feel ambitious enough to take it on next summer - I definitely plan on it!