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By Becky Reno

Everybody knows a chicken ain’t nothin’ without her sexy bitches, right?

Enter the three little letters that equal summer to me. C.S.A.

It stands for community supported agriculture and it’s basically like buying a tiny share of a farm, and getting a weekly payout from June through October.

I feel good about supporting local, and I’m generally a freak about not wanting to waste food so it ensures I eat healthy for at least half the year.

Interested? Go here and search for one in your area. It might be too far into the harvest year for some, but you can always get acquainted with them for next summer.

Some tips- talk to people who have used that CSA in the past. Not all CSAs are created equal and if you’re not careful you could end up with a summer full of radishes. Also, make sure the pick up location is convenient. You might not mind that 30 minute drive for a week or two, but you want to look forward to picking up that bag full of goodies, not dread it. Finally, start collecting recipes or following blogs that cook with fruits and veggies often. (This one is great, as is this one.) Nothing is worse than staring at a drawer full of turnips and having no idea what to do with them. (Here’s one answer, by the way).

Do you CSA or farmers’ market often? (yep, I’m making them a verb). Feel free to add additional recipes or websites in the comments. I’m always looking for a creative way to use up my weekly bounty.

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  1. Jill #
    July 19, 2012

    We were part of a CSA for a few years, but ours was more of a collective. You could buy what you wanted as long as you spent $25 each week. It was nice but kinda a pain at the same time. Because sometimes, all they had was lettuce . . . and $25 worth of lettuce is about $20 too much. But the breads and free-range chickens? Awesome!

  2. Becky #
    July 19, 2012

    Ooh- chicken and bread? Now I’m jealous.

  3. July 19, 2012

    I’m currently with an amazing veggie box guy who is more of a distributor for local and a-little-bit-less-local fruits and veggies (see here for details http://mylifeisthebestlife.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/the-veggies-are-here-the-veggies-are-here/ ) but I’m thinking about doing a CSA when I go on mat leave. There’s a farm close to our place that looks VERY interesting!

  4. July 22, 2012

    I love our CSA! They are also friends of ours, and my 15-year-old daughter has now been working on their farm, weeding, for the last two years. My new favorite way to use up all that zucchini: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-zucchini-mint-and-yogur-117173 (I add garlic and sometimes substitute other herbs for the mint if they seem like they match). These photos make me happy. I love that bowl in the bottom photo.

  5. July 24, 2012

    CSAs are great, but our lives are too unpredictable to guarantee that we’d get through everything in a week. So we shop at farmers’ markets and farmstands. Lovely photos–I want that peach, the front one, yeah that’s it… Ken

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