Lisa at Living Easy, and maybe some of the rest of you, wanted to know what was in our first week's pick-up from the Rolling Prairie CSA farms. As a reminder, we pay $16 a week for the bag of produce and other goodies. There was also an $80 annual subscription fee, but at the end of the season, the last three weeks' of food are free. The average growing season here is 24 weeks, making the average "real" cost of the week's bounty just $17. It could be more or less depending on how long the actual growing season is, but $17 seems to be a good average figure.
The amounts and variety including in the first pick-up are a little sparse, simply because we've had a cool spring and growing is just now getting underway. Future bags promise to be more bountiful.
Here's what we got this week, in approximate amounts:
1 pound asparagus
1 large bunch green onions
1/2 pound mixed salad greens
1-1/4 dried oyster mushrooms
2 pounds tofu (local produced)
2 small heads of bok choy
The Rolling Prairie Cookbook
Everyone received asparagus and salad greens, but everything else was by choice. Instead of green onions, I could have had lemon balm, thyme, basil, sage or green pea shoots. Instead of dried mushrooms I could have had fresh (oyster or puff ball) mushrooms or frozen roasted red peppers. Instead of 2 pounds of tofu I could have had 1 pound of either ground beef, bulk pork sausage or sausage patties. And instead of bok choy I could have had spinach, leaf lettuce or arugula.
My choices were mostly foods I haven't cooked with at all like bok choy and oyster mushrooms, or that I haven't cooked with often, like tofu.
I did a rough estimate of what those foods would cost, in non-organic versions, at regular grocery store prices and came up with roughly $14. To know they are all grown free of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers for just $3 more seems quite the bargain. The cookbook was an unexpected surprise and nearly doubled the value of this first bag of food. Not to mention it will give me great ideas how to serve the produce that's new to me.
I also purchased a nice tofu cookbook there for just $5. I can't wait to check out the recipes. I'll be sure share any great recipes I try.