I’m produce crazy. Really, I am. I pick up a CSA delivery from the co-op on Mondays, then visit a Wednesday market in a neighboring town for bakery goods, followed immediately by a bike ride to our town’s market three blocks away. I am also growing loads of veggies, if I can keep the snails and slugs away long enough to form actual vegetation. My husband brings me eggs from a co-worker’s chickens, and I nab local milk and tofu at the co-op. There’s even a third market I visit once a month for fresh cheese, honey and any organic meat my husband requests. All in all, I’m feeling pretty lucky about my bountiful surroundings this summer.
“So,” my husband asked me over dinner, hesitating slightly, “what are you going to do when your CSA pickup turns into the same things you already grow?” He’s not a huge vegetable lover, so it’s an excusable question. He wants to know just how much salad and grilled squash medley he should plan on choking down. I needed a minute to regroup. “What do you mean,” I floundered, thinking it over while he rephrased. Time sped on and nothing came to mind. Finally, I had to admit: I have no idea what I’ll do with all of those vegetables.
After moving back to the midwest from Denver, where it was often difficult and expensive to find good produce, I was amazed to be invited to join a CSA — quickly and cheaply. I didn’t think it through. I don’t need it. Between my markets and co-op and neighbors and garden, I’ll have enough produce to feed us and can and freeze all that I can imagine using. Plus some.
My solution? For now, I’m trying to find someone to split my CSA box on a weekly basis. That will halve my issue, and I’ll still get some of the great things like mushrooms and berries that I don’t grow at home. What will I do when the box is partway full of zucchini and I’ve just picked 10 of my own? A table at the farmers market — loaded with zucchini cupcakes, zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, zucchini pie? — would suit me just fine.