Enjoying The Bounty

Who can argue with the idea of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) — a project through which people purchase shares in local farmers, and in return receive weekly boxes, bags or baskets of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season?

Westporters, apparently.

Responding to an “06880” story about a similar effort involving area restaurants, one reader wrote:

Unfortunately, we do not get to choose what we get in our shares as the restaurants do.  I have had more than my share of collard greens and kale, to say nothing of garlic.  I would have liked to have seen more beans and carrots for example.

One week I got four carrots, not even one inch long that someone actually put a rubber band around!  We got one week of white beans and that was it.  I don’t know that I will buy a share next year.

Three Westport families take a less grumpy view.

Recently, they got together at Peter Propp and Suzanne Sherman’s house to enjoy what Anne Hardy calls “the weekly and bountiful CSA box.”

Peter Propp preps.

Each family brought the food they’d received.  They dumped it on the counter, then started prepping and cooking.

The goal was to try to use all of it, in one way or another.  They nearly succeeded, leaving only a few ears of corn, a couple of onions and a small bag of cherry tomatoes.

Peter masterminded what was dubbed “Group CSA Top Chef Dinner.”  His CSA chicken dish — cooked according to a 15-year-old recipe from Joan Baez’s tour manager — was a special hit.

“It took the boredom of prepping vegetables — something you have to love with this box scheme — out of the equation,” Anne reported.

“And it was fun!”

10 responses to “Enjoying The Bounty

  1. Cranky Old Man

    Not so sure S.O.’s comment was “grumpy” compared with my moods recently (enlarged prostrate). But what does a share cost in this CSA outfit? So everyone gets together and cooks their “box.” Gee, I do that every night but mine is a bag from Stop & Shop. This is blog worthy??? Did Joan Baez’s manager (signficance??) not like onions or cherry tomatoes????

  2. Any chance the Joan Baez tour manager’s chicken recipe could or would be shared?

    Grumpy, cooking from a CSA box means you are supporting small, local (okay, sometimes they’re kind of local) farms – in a way, your neighbors. Cooking from your Stop & Shop bag means you are supporting a supermarket chain HQ’d in Boston, corporately owned by a Dutch conglomerate. Of course, it’s your choice how you do things; but I enjoy reading that CSA is catching on and find it blogworthy.

  3. Cranky Old Man

    I don’t dispute your premise. I am all in favor of supporting local farmers instead of Corporate Moo/Cluck or Shucker. I just found the cooking part a little too pretentious. Doesn’t Joan cook?

  4. I like to think she does, just probably not for her whole tour.

    I don’t do the CSA because I have a large-ish garden; and sometimes, finding a way to use everything I’ve grown is somewhat akin to using everything in the CSA box. There are weeks when it takes a lot of effort. (I give away/donate a good deal of the surplus, too.) So, I dunno – I get what you’re saying, but don’t find it that pretentious. With the great year we’ve been having for corn, I admit I don’t understand having any left over.

    Cheers, enjoy your day.

  5. Cranky Old Man has officially been named, “Crankiest Old Man”.

  6. The Dude Abides

    Who crowned you Queen? He is merely questioning the pulse of the entry. The introduction left much to be desired such as the cost of the “share” and I would have enjoyed that information as well instead of the recipe for a 60’s folk singer who I believe is a vegan anyhow.

  7. Who crowned YOU Queen, Dude? He isn’t “merely questioning” anything.

  8. Not sure why the cost of the program is so key to the conversation here but it is $600 for the full season, first week in June to end of October (about 22 weeks). We (family of 4) split ours with another family (also 4) and so its about $14.00 per week for each of us. Definitely the bulk of our fresh vegetables for the week and often eggs. Sometimes supplement (salad, other veg) but there is NO way one could buy local, farm fresh veg anywhere near these amounts for $14 per week.

  9. Thank you. I think the cost of everything today is pertinent.