Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In My Kitchen: CSA Box from Double Oak Farm

I mentioned last week in my post about the Slow Food Garden at White River State Park that my family is participating in a CSA box subscription this summer.

What's a CSA box? CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and when you subscribe to a CSA program, you're supporting local farms by purchasing the fruits, veggies, herbs, etc., that they grow. It's sort of like showing up at the farmer's market each week, but letting someone else choose what you're buying.

Here in Columbus, Indiana, we're fortunate to have a local grocer (another way to each local!) called Double Oak Farm. This relatively new shop is organizing the CSA program we've subscribed to, and they get their produce from a variety of farms around southern Indiana. I chose to only purchase a 1/2 box, which is plenty for our family. Each Wednesday, I fill a bag and discover what tasty goodies we'll be enjoying. The folks at Double Oak write a cute blog where they suggest recipes or ideas as to what to do with all these fruits and veggies. But I've had lots of fun researching and experimenting on my own.


Last week, I realized I had two weeks worth of red potatoes (roughly two quarts) sitting on the counter. I thought they might make a great potato salad base, so I researched some recipes. And who can pass up a potato salad recipe from Paula Deen, the Queen of Southern cooking (and all things mayo). Shockingly, this is a rather light recipe. We really enjoyed it and found that it was even better the next day. I'm sure I'll make it again as it would be a great cookout pitch-in side dish.


On the sweeter side of things, the arrow and I have both fallen in love with smoothies for lunch each day. I just toss whatever fruit came in the box that week, add a banana, some ice, water, and a container of Greek yogurt and blend it up. Lately I've been adding some pureed baby food like carrots and squash to get some extra veggies in the arrow, and he doesn't even notice. It makes a great lunch for both of us, and I only have to make one thing. Plus, it's constantly changing. Last week, we had blackberry smoothies. This week, it's peaches. Mmmm...


I believe the cost breakdown of getting a 1/2 box each week is about $15 (I paid up front and so my math might be a little fuzzy). I've hardly had to buy any fruits or veggies beyond what comes in our box since we joined, so my family definitely comes out ahead financially. The CSA program at Double Oak is full this year, but if you live near or around Columbus, consider joining next year. Or just stop by their store or booth at the Saturday Farmer's Market and support their efforts.

If You Visit:
Double Oak Farms
1120 Washington Street, Columbus, Indiana
Open 8-7 Monday-Friday, 8-5 Saturday and 1-5 Sunday.
Insider Tip: If you live nearby, definitely "like" Double Oak Farm on Facebook. They are really active on Facebook and are constantly running sales or placing special orders (like fresh seafood). That's how I learned about the CSA program back in March.

This post is a part of Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick. This week, we're wandering the fertile fields of southern Indiana without leaving the house!