Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Confession: I Cheated on My CSA

I often write about how much I love my Community Supported Agriculture membership at Fairview Gardens Farm in Goleta, CA. It's been invaluable to my vegan cooking efforts, since I get weekly helpings of all my favorite fruits and veggies (and some random ones I don't quite know what to do with).

But I'm in Massachusetts right now, and my CSA farm is all the way across the country, so... what happens in Massachusetts stays in Massachusetts, right? Today I hit up another CSA... with my mom.

My parents are members at Powisset Farm in Dover, just a short drive from their home in Westwood. Here's what the farm looks like:
Look how beautiful it is. How could I resist?

There were thirteen different items out on tables for us to pick up: lettuce, kale, basil, fennel, chard, beets, cabbage, onions, carrots, kohlrabi, potatoes, squash, and mizuna. I was intrigued by the mizuna. I'd never even heard of mizuna. Turns out, I got all excited for nothing: it's just a kind of bland green to mix into salads.

But we also got to go out in the fields and gather our own flowers, herbs, snap peas, and fava beans:

Just in case you can't read it, the sign says, "These are ready when they are huge, plump, and even with a few brown spots!" I read it and chuckled. Then I got up in there and picked myself some fava beans. I never get to pick my own fava beans at Fairview. I felt like a real-life farmer - granted, one who has had everything planted and tended for her. Some people would probably say it's more convenient to have all the vegetables already collected for you, but I think there's something fun about going out and getting them yourself, if you have time.

The folks at Powisset keep a blog with recipe ideas involving the produce they offer. You can search by ingredient (but not by "vegan," unfortunately). Fairview has a blog, too; theirs is arguably more helpful, since it gives you a heads up about which items you're going to get that week. If you're the type to plan recipes ahead of time (and I assure you, I am not that type) then this is a really important feature.

So which CSA is better? Luckily for me, I don't have to choose. I can have my (eggless) cake and eat it too, visiting Powisset while I'm out here and resuming my relationship with Fairview when I get back home. But shhh! Don't tell.


  1. "These are ready when they are huge, plump, and even with a few brown spots!"

    That's what she said...?

    Maybe not.

  2. Jester: That is EXACTLY what she said! That sign gave me the whole idea for the title of the post :)

  3. I thought the title sounded like you cheated on a test, like the SAT. I was intrigued.

  4. So, I recently read a "Stuff White People Like" on "pick-your-own" situations: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2010/03/14/132-picking-their-own-fruit/. Your description of how you felt picking the fava beans TOTALLY reminded me of this! Personal favourite part: "Under these conditions, white people are expected to work leisurely with no real expectations and then they pay for the privilege to do so. In other words, berry picking is the agricultural equivalent to a private liberal arts college. It’s no surprise white people like it, because much like a liberal arts degree it feels like you’ve done real work when you really haven’t." Oh Stuff White People Like, how you embarrassingly sum up my existence.

  5. Erin: Haha! First of all, I love "Erin the Pesci." Hilarious. And I feel so exposed when I read Stuff White People Like. It's all about me and it's embarrassing! Talk soon lovely :)