Jamie Skiles, R.D., L.D.
As a dietitian, I feel like I should have a little variety in my fruit/vegetable consumption and some “know how” with regards to preparation of foods. My husband and I found ourselves, rotating between the same 7 to 10ish dinner meals as the weeks were going by last year. I had heard of CSA programs before but had not joined one. Over this last summer we committed to trying at least one new recipe each week and decided it should have a fruit or vegetable that we had not eaten before, (or at the very least, a familiar one prepared in a different way). This brought many fresh ideas to our meal planning and some new experiences for our taste buds to enjoy. CSA saved us from the “same-old-thing” with our dinner meals.
Community Supported Agriculture can help you find some new dishes, fruits, vegetables, and recipes that can brighten up your menu. Joining a CSA program can allow you to have local fresh produce throughout the season which is early May/June thru November. Those who join a CSA program pay a fee at the beginning of the season to the farm they would like to participate with. The farm then will deliver boxes of fresh local produce:
Different farms may also have extra specialty items (eggs, dairy, meat, honey, herbs/spices, and recipes). If you can’t make it to the drop sites, some farms may also deliver to your door, or you can do an “at farm pick-up”.
If you can identify with the feeling of being a little stuck in a rut with your meals, or if you’ve been meaning to try new fruits and vegetables, or if you have a hard time getting to the grocery store to gather in some fresh produce, then a CSA may be a very wonderful experience for you. Check out some of the links below.
Willamette Farm & Food Coalition – List of CSA programs: http://www.lanefood.org/csa-programs.php
Eugene Farmer’s Market: http://lanecountyfarmersmarket.org/
Springfield Farmers Market: http://www.sproutfoodhub.org/