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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 1: The CSAs have returned!


Finally. FINALLY. CSA season is upon us!

My first CSA pick up of the season was Monday, which, in my head, pretty much signals the beginning of warm weather, deck sitting and copious amounts of local, seasonal produce. Yes, I know I'm being a little dramatic for it being barely May, but it's hard not to get excited, because, well, I hate winter. And even after the mildest winter of my life (besides the years I lived in South Florida), I'm still thrilled that it will basically be getting warmer from here on out for months on end.

For the past few years, I've documented how my little family of three uses up our CSA (community supported agriculture — this means we get a share of farm goods each week in a "subscription") share each week. I started blogging about our usage after hearing from many people that they'd given up on their CSA shares or become discouraged because they couldn't prepare everything before it yellowed and died in their produce crisper, wading in that weird condensation that puddles as the veggies die.

And, truthfully, I also started blogging about how we use our veggies to make sure we'd use them.

That's right, though I write weekly about my love of vegetables and fruits, I have been known to let some produce wither and die in my crisper, too, only to be laid to rest on the compost pile. It happens to all of us, even people like me who need kale to be its own food group.

And, thus, if it's difficult for me, it's difficult for probably anybody. Especially when you're not exactly sure what you're going to get each week (Meal planning? What's that?). And no matter what CSA you've signed up for (or if you're following along at the Farmers' Market), this year is poised to be extra crazy. Because of the unseasonably warm weather and little rain, local farmers have had traditional early spring crops like spinach and kale bolt on them or die after wintering-over. Thus, these first few weeks might be a little hectic and abnormal no matter what CSA you've signed up for or how seasoned or new you are to this whole subscription veggies thing.

So, as we navigate the first week of the season (for me — if your CSA has yet to start, take this post and this week's share as an example of what you'll get later), I thought I'd look back on some of the best recipes we made in early spring the past few years. That way, no matter what your CSA has in store for you this week or in the next few, you have a good suggested starting point.


Swiss Chard Roll-ups** (with instructions)

Bok Choy with Chickpeas and Cashews (from a late-season post, but applicable to early season veggies)

Spicy and Sweet Chinese Cabbage

My Favorite Kale Salad (Rockin' Kale Salad)

Spinach CSA Smoothie

I'll check back in this space next week with a run down and recipes from how we used our goodies this week, which included (as you can see above): mushrooms, mushroom paté, green onions, Swiss chard, salad mix, spinach.

And, now, a question: Have you joined a CSA? If so, what are you looking forward to each week?


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