I was in upstate New York recently and my friend made the most delicious dinners. She puzzled over what to do with white beets. I thought to myself, “You buy things before knowing what you’ll cook with them?” But then she explained that she’s part of a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA. Each week, she goes to a local farm and buys a pre-filled box of local fruits and vegetables.
The salad she made with those beets was the best beet dish I’ve ever eaten. I was inspired.
I returned to NOLA and sought out our own CSA. Alas, we do not have one. But, we do have something similar at Hollygrove Market. Every Saturday morning, the market sells CSA-style boxes (or bags) of local fruits and vegetables from several local farms for $25. I’ve been three Saturdays in a row. They open at 10am and usually sell out of boxes within 2 hours. They also sell other fruits and vegetables, fresh breads, and dairy products.
Here’s what was in this week’s box:
Three pears, six satsumas, a bag of brown jasmine rice (instead of white popcorn rice), a bag of black-eyed peas (my choice of peas or beans), two ears of corn, a zucchini, a yellow squash, two patty pan squashes, two tomatoes, two green peppers, a bag of okra, and a container of white button mushrooms.
I’ve never cooked with patty pan squash. And I have found that I love the thought of being given the opportunity of working with something new, something that’s not too daunting. And I love even more that most of the what’s in each box are things I’m familiar with, even if some are things I’ve never cooked with before.
And for the last two weeks since we started getting the boxes, we’re eating more fruits and vegetables. We’ve eaten out just once in the last two weeks, and that includes having had company in town to feed! THAT is a big deal.
So, are you looking for fresh and delicious local fruits and vegetables? With maybe a slight twist that pushes you to try new things? At a price that is more than worth it?
Then get to Hollygrove Market next Saturday and get in line for the best kept secret in the city right now. I’ll see you there!