Our local CSA is owned by Ned and Ryan, a couple great guys who has been involved in sustainable agriculture for years. This is our third season in their program. For $25 per week, 25-week season pre-paid, you get a box stuffed with farm fresh organic veggies. We pick up ours at their farm in Pescadero, but they also have pick-up locations in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Kings Mountain, La Honda, and Half Moon Bay. Check their website for details and subscription availability – they are filling up fast!
The quality from any CSA should be excellent. It’s rare to find farm-fresh produce even in the best stores. But what I like best about belonging to a CSA is the surprises. What the heck do you do with fennel root? What are these weird spears… oh, garlic scapes, huh? A lot of experimenting in the kitchen has been driven by these fun new discoveries, and it’s resulted in some great new recipes. Some of these things, like the garlic scapes, I’ve never seen in stores, and others I’ve been walking past for years.
Like with music, when you’re cooking it’s easy to just go straight for what you know. Regular grocery stores make it easy to stick to what you know by never presenting you much different. CSAs, farm stands and ethnic grocers can really help you expand your palette.
Got a favorite CSA? Ethnic market? Farm stand? I’d love to hear about it!