As of May 4, 2011, spring in Chicago has been fickle. I can’t tell if it’s just hinting and teasing us, or if it’s actually here to stay. Back in March, I anxiously anticipated Mother Nature’s bounty in the warmer months. I started shopping around for a local CSA subscription, which was not an easy task given the seven dozens of options in the Chicagoland area.
I loved that a CSA subscription would help us to adapt a flexitarian diet, introduce new and varied produce into our diets, and challenge me to try new recipes. Eating seasonally also provides the added benefit of crops being picked at the height of their season, which meant lots of flavor and perfect ripeness. Supporting local farmers and businesses would also reduce emissions and the added cost and bureaucracy of the middle man. The idea of eating produce that was freshly picked the day before or even the morning of our pick-up seemed so quaint in our modern, urban lives.
After a couple of weeks researching, I finally decided to go with the Green Grocer. I chose it due its close proximity, the option of three different pick up days until 9pm, and the mix of 4 fruits and 2 vegetables supplied by two farmers: Genesis Growers and Seedling Farms. The tipping point was the 10% discount for ordering before April 15, which resulted in a weekly price of less than $16.
As I had mentioned previously, since it has been a late spring, our CSA consisted of organic produce from suppliers outside our immediate area.We picked up our first CSA this week, which consisted of ½ lb of kale, 1 mango, 1 lb strawberries, 4 potatoes (19 oz), 19 oz broccoli, and 2 large cucumbers.For our meatless midweek dinner, I made lemony kale pasta from Annie’s Eats blog. It tasted very much like a leafy pasta salad with lots of lemon flavor, and even better when it's still a little warm.