It feels strange not picking up a CSA today. Since the first week of May 2011, we have had CSA pickups or deliveries every week, but two, for over 20 months. Well, at least I get to visit lots of local markets including the new indoor Olney market starting in a few weeks. Plus, the Saturday farm stands at Breezy Willow, TLV and England Acres. England Acres will continue to offer Lancaster Farm Fresh veggies that they buy wholesale from the same cooperative that supplies our summer and fall CSA. Fun to go out there and see the same unique varieties that were in our box during the week.
I did a final analysis of what we got, and what it might have cost us to buy organic veggies for the same time we got our fall CSA deliveries. We had seven deliveries, missing one due to the hurricane. They made up for it in volume. Lots of heavy deliveries of things like potatoes, squash and turnips.
The most unusual items were: yacon, which is still in the fridge. It is destined to become a fritter with a few of the carrots, maybe over the weekend. Viola turnips, an heirloom variety, long and thin, but tasty. This is also the first year we got popcorn. And, many new varieties of squash, like Thelma Sanders, Jarrahdale, carnival and seminole.
The priciest items to buy at the store seem to be organic leeks. They cost $2.99 each at Harris Teeter, and at Wegmans. We got nine of them, which would have cost me $27 to buy. And, organic celery. We got 8 bunches of celery. Not as big as those in the store, but in the store they cost a whopping $3.49 each at Harris Teeter and $2 each at Wegmans. I used the $2 each for my final tally.
Lots of potatoes. Red potatoes. Russett potatoes. Beauregard sweet. White Hamon sweet. Japanese sweet. Fingerlings of many colors. Organic potatoes cost either $1 or $1.29 a pound, depending on where you find them. All told, we got 31 pounds of potatoes.
There were 44 unique items this fall. Not bad for seven weeks. By unique, I mean with slight variations, like French heirloom carrots versus purple carrots. Or, four different types of turnips. Five different squash varieties.
The total, sort of. I had to round it out a bit and I didn’t have exact weights to the ounce, but it came out to about $307 worth of veggies. The cost was $250 for a subscription. Not as good of a comparison as you get with a summer CSA, as many items in the fall are very reasonable in price, like scallions and potatoes. Sweet potatoes cost $1 a pound.
Will we do it again next fall? Yes, as I have found it easy to use up most of the items and that they do well in the crisper drawer for weeks. The last of the potatoes and onions and squash will be used during January, meaning I won’t need to buy any until February and my early bird Breezy Willow CSA starts in March. Then, it’s a weekly trip out to the farm for pick up.
On a final note, thanks to Erin and Dan, who ran Sandy Spring CSA, and who are retiring. The local CSA is supplied by Lancaster Farm Fresh and has close to 1000 members in the DC,NoVA, Montgomery and Howard County area. We will have new leaders in May, and will be back getting our summer delivery to Columbia. Until then, I will be savoring more of the goodies from the freezer that I put away last summer.
Stay tuned to hear how I will now be using the vacu-seal my brother is giving me. He and his wife no longer use it, and they know I will put it to good use.