Today is the second weekly pickup of our new CSA adventure with Rio Gozo Farm out of Ojai. We had bantered numerous times about whether or not we should sign up with a local CSA and what the benefits would be. The initial cost often seemed daunting, not to mention the amount of product during a great harvest. Could we justify the cost or eat all the produce without it going bad?
Many people we know are involved with a CSA program and all of them came back to us with the same responses.
“If you break down the weekly cost comparatively to eating out, you’ll come out ahead.”
“You’ll be eating way healthier and doing good for your local community.”
“You can always find a neighbor or friend to split the CSA box with to help decrease the cost and waste.”
Well, finally, the decision was made to go all in for a season and see for ourselves. We grab our CSA box at the Patagonia headquarters. It took me a few minutes to figure out the actual pickup spot. After wandering clueless for a few minutes, the staff at the retail shop gave me some direction and the guy at reception was very helpful and seemed happy I was there. A quick signature and a bundling of produce in my arms, I was on my way.
We got in for the last month of the winter season, so the first box was full of mixed greens, spinach, beets and carrots. The box contents didn’t even make it all the way home without me trying some super fresh, crisp and intense leaf lettuce. We scarfed on more lettuce as pre-dinner salads with simple S&P, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Amazing crunch and depth of flavor!
We built delicious salads all week, used the carrots in a chicken teriyaki dish and bone broth, crunched on beets fresh and wilted up swiss chard to go with a whole roasted chicken. As far as having a lot of waste, we gnashed on almost everything except for some casualty parsley. I anticipate we’ll get more creative as time goes on.
After only the first week, it has already worth joining and I’m super excited about seeing what’s in today’s delivery. Gotta remember the most critical lesson learned from last week’s pickup though:
1. Take a bag with me. You definitely stand out as the new guy schlepping all your produce mounded in your arms through the parking lot .
If you’re in Ventura County and would like to find out more about the Rio Gozo Farm program Everybody’s Hungry is involved with, check out their website and blog here.