The excitement of waiting for your weekly CSA box must be how the Iron Chef feels waiting for the secret ingredient to be revealed. However, instead of one secret ingredient, you get a box full of secret ingredients with a CSA. Much like the Iron Chef, you then get the challenge of deciding what to make with the unveiled items.
A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is program where members pay a farmer a set fee at the start of the season in exchange for a weekly share of produce throughout the season. As a member, you never know what you are going to get. The quantity varies depending on the weather and growing conditions: if there is a good crop then members get a larger box, and if there is a smaller crop due to unfavorable weather the members share that risk with the farmer.
One of the best perks of participating in a CSA is the opportunity to build a relationship with the individuals that grow your food. As a member, you often have the option to visit the farm to see how the food is grown. Another benefit is that you occasionally get unusual fruits and vegetables such as celeriac and romanesco which encourages you to try new things in the kitchen. You may discover a new favorite fruit or vegetable!
This is the time to think about your CSA for 2012 as many fill up quickly. Reserve your spot today!
CSAs in the Des Moines area:
Berry Patch Farm in Nevada
Edge of the Woods Raspberry Farm LLC in Indianola
Nature Road Farm in Boone
Twin Girls Garden in Madrid
Grinnell Heritage Farm in Grinnell
One Step at a Time Gardens in Kanawha