CSA Box: Week 1 + the Wednesday Carrboro Farmer’s Market

Here is my first ever CSA box (yippee!!!)

  • One beautiful head of oak leaf lettuce
  • One enormous head of bok choy
  • Lots of curly kale
  • Two bunches of green garlic
  • Red radishes
  • Garlic pork bratwurst (not pictured)

My CSA, Brinkley Farms, focuses on produce, however they do occasionally offer flours, eggs, and meat they humanely raise (pork, poultry and beef). They don’t offer delivery (although some do), so I go to the Wednesday Carrboro Farmer’s Market to grab my box. Every week I get an email where I can request customization of my weekly share.

This Wednesday was the first mid-week farmer’s market of the year, and the mood was joyous. I couldn’t resist a hot dog from The Pig’s brand-new cart. The Pig is one of my favorite restaurants here in Chapel Hill, serving “whole hog barbeque, working with the NC Natural Hog Grower’s Association and their antibiotic and hormone-free, pasture raised piggies to bring regional flavors and local ingredients to the party in your tummy.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Between their focus on local, happier meats, interesting takes on old favorites (talk about amazing side dishes), and the fact that the owner is a Chapel Hill native who was trained at the Iowa State meat laboratory, I can’t get over the awesome. The dog was delicious semi-Carolina-style (another one of my current obsessions), with mustard, relish, onion, mayo and slaw (for real Carolina style, add chili, and never ketchup). No guilt here.

I also couldn’t resist this pint of incredibly juicy strawberries from another booth…

But back to the veggies: I’m doubling up on my boxes as I’ll be missing half of this growing season (more on that later), so I get an aggressive “family size” box. I’m not complaining, though, and I’m dreaming up lots of fun ways to use everything up. I am hoping this will be an exercise in creativity — and am planning on requesting at least one new vegetable a week to experiment with.

I got some seriously gorgeous greens, and also some ridiculously large veggies. I took this picture to try to show the size of the bok choy more clearly:

It looks like this should be captioned “Bok choy… A love story…” 😉

CSA stands for community supported agriculture, where one can purchase a “share” in a farm and obtain local, seasonally appropriate fresh foods directly from a farmer. Individual CSA policies differ (for more information see here and here), so it may take some looking to find one that fits your budget and needs.

North Carolina is particularly blessed in that the Triangle area has an abundance of active farmers and a good network of distributors/markets. A CSA is technically unnecessary, as the farmer’s markets are just that good and you can easily get things a la carte. However, I wanted the chance to really try to build a relationship with a particular farm, and work consistently within the restrictions of seasonality. In addition, I felt like the push of pre-paying would give me better incentive to show up consistently to the farmer’s market — think of it like paying for a workout class vs. going to the gym for alone workouts — because my laziness can easily get the best of me 🙂

To find a CSA or farmer’s market near you, try Local Harvest!


5 thoughts on “CSA Box: Week 1 + the Wednesday Carrboro Farmer’s Market

    • so far so good 🙂 it took some looking to find a farm that did an “individual” sized box for a price i was willing to pay… some of the farm shares can go up to ~$500 for the growing season, which is much too much!

      i am doubling up on my box for a few weeks, so it is a lot of food to handle. but even with that, as long as you plan/eat steadily through the box, I haven’t found it to be a problem. i can choose what goes into the box, so i never am “stuck” with anything. this farm also has meat and eggs, which are pricey and help me use up every week’s allotment. meat can be easily frozen, which is nice.

      i’d research prices in the area (some do deliver, which makes things super convenient!) so you have a ballpark. i’d then go to some of the markets you’d have to go to to pick up your box/in the area and see if it might be money better spent to buy things a la carte rather than the box (here the price is about equivalent; you choose things for your box at market price). but like i said in the post, sometimes i need to pre-pay to really get myself going 🙂 keep me updated if you do! have you found good farmer’s markets in the area? xoxo

  1. Thanks for the info! I will investigate this further and let you know.

    There is a great farmer’s market in Dupont about a mile away. There is also a farmer’s market on 14th and U from May-Oct., so I am looking forward to May 1 for sure so that I can just walk a few blocks 🙂

  2. Pingback: Cuban Salad (I think) | Don the Apron!

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