Why I Love My CSA

It’s no secret that I love joining my CSA year after year. I’ve been involved in mine for 3 years now, and it is something I look forward to every year. I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions I get, so you can see if it’s a good fit for you!

What is a CSA?

CSA Stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA allows individuals to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer!

Supporting Local Farmers

CSA’s keep small farms going! Rather than buying less-than-average, shipped from who knows where, produce from your supermarket, you get to meet the farmers and support them and all of their hard work (it is A LOT of work). So while shopping at the farmer’s market or grocery store is great, I truly believe that joining a CSA is even better.

How Does a CSA Operate

I’ve seen them operate mainly in two ways.

  • Pre-Packed: Some CSAs have a pick up location (some even drop-off!) where you go and get the pre-packaged/portioned box of your fresh produce.
  • Farmer Market Style: Others, like mine, give you let’s say 9 out of 12 options to pick from, and you can pick which of the items you want. They also have a pick-your-own area where you can pick herbs and things!
  • Length of Time: So mine runs from June-October (20 weeks), but I imagine they vary based on where you live, and so on. Mine also offers the opportunity to do 10-week or 20-week shares, because it’s often A LOT to do weekly if you are cooking for let’s say 2 people.
  • If you think a CSA is something that may be great for you, I encourage doing some research and finding a CSA that works for you. There may be only one or two to choose from, but if you live in a place where there are options, it is a good idea to take time to look around, because each farm varies in the payments, what you get, what they ask of you, etc.

How It Saves Me Money

While upfront it seems like a large sum (every CSA is a different cost), the amount of produce I get weekly is beyond! By the end of the season at some points, I can take 20 pounds of potatoes and tomatoes (for example)! So while initially you may be like, wow that seems like a lot, when I have compared it to my grocery shopping in the stores, it pays for itself for sure!

Getting Creative in the Kitchen

Another bonus is sometimes you get/can pick unique produce that you wouldn’t often cook with, which can be really fun! Aside from always have fresh food in the fridge, the thought of a fridge-full of produce will encourage creativity. For example, I never used garlic scapes until my CSA and now I love them! AND you can totally get kiddos involved. They think it’s super fun to help in the kitchen, and if you have a CSA where you get to pick, there usually is an entire community for kids! They love going!

Want CSA-inspired recipe ideas? Here are some we’ve done over the years:

It’s Not Always JUST Produce

Mine, and many that I know of, also offer fresh meat, eggs, and cheese/fresh local dairy from local farms available for purchase when you pick up! I absolutely love this. I get my honey, apple cider vinegar, cheese, and eggs there all season long.

Some Things to Consider

  • Some people find it overwhelming to go and then feel pressure to cook/use what they get. So if you loathe cooking (which I hope you don’t), you may not love it.
  • You also might find there’s some waste (or not going to lie, I do, but am working on it). Since they aren’t sprayed with chemicals to preserve the produce, they don’t last as long.
  • Lastly, my CSA does not have fruit (except watermelons and cantaloupes at the end of the season, and sometimes raspberries in the beginning), so you still may have to supplement on top of your CSA.

How to Find a CSA Near You

  • If you Google “CSA NEAR ME” results should pop up with CSA’s in your area!
  • Ask a friend/neighbor/etc. — while the CSA near me search is totally effective, I found mine through neighbors!
  • Local in MA? Here is my CSA that I have been a part of for years, and absolutely LOVE it and highly recommend it. I also happen to know they still have 10 or 20 week shares available! 
  • Also, mine had an orientation which I really loved and recommend attending if yours does too. You can learn about their farming practices, organic, standards they uphold, etc.

So, do you belong to a CSA?!

CSA SHARE

What’s In Season: SPRING EDITION

Spring is here!! Whether it’s still chilly where you live or beginning to warm up, the produce is coming! I always opt for using fresh, local, in-season produce, plus it can often be cheaper, so let’s take a look at the SPRING EDITION of what produce is in season!

Broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, artichokes, all the lettuce greens, asparagus, radishes, peas, parsnips, chives, potatoes, chard, rhubarb, grapefruit, strawberries, and more! It’s a good season!

In the next few weeks on Lexiscleankitchen.com, we’ll be sharing even more recipes to use all of the fabulous produce in abundance this season.

What's In Season In The Spring - Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Get cooking:

Blueberry Chia Jam

Healthy Broccoli Soup

Mediterranean Veggie Fritters

Everything Bagel Topped Cauliflower Rolls

Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Guacamole

Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Radishes

Indian Spiced Cauliflower with Chicken

Herb Cucumber Salad

Roasted Chicken Buddha Bowls

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

Potato, Leek, and Chard Frittata

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Happy Spring Cooking!

Thai Curry Soup

This Thai Curry Soup is my new favorite! I love all things Thai, and I especially love a filling, super flavorful soup. This dish is packed with so many of your CSA and farmer’s market veggies: Summer Squash, Bok Choy, Snap Peas, Basil, and Cilantro. It’ll be a hit of dinner, and then some with leftovers!

Thai-curry-soup3

Week 3 of my CSA summer series with PaleOMG & Fed and Fit is here! There are now 9 recipes in the series and they are SO amazing. Don’t forget to check out week 1 and week 2. I am in love with this series because I get to bring you all sorts of fabulous recipes with all the fresh ingredients from my farm and backyard, and ones that are in abundance for you, too! 

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Thai Curry Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon avocado oil, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 inch stalk lemongrass (white part), minced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 inch chunk ginger, minced
  5. 1 cup shitake mushrooms
  6. 2-3 medium bok choy, sliced
  7. 1 cup bean sprouts
  8. 1 cup snap peas
  9. 32 ounces chicken broth
  10. 1 13-ounce can coconut milk
  11. 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  12. 1 lime, juiced
  13. 1 tablespoon curry powder
  14. 3 thai birds eye chilis, chopped
  15. 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  16. 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  17. 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  18. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  19. Pinch red pepper flakes, more to taste
  20. 1 pound shrimp, deveined and peeled
  21. 2 large zucchinis or summer squashes, spiraled (about 13 ounces)
  22. Optional: 1 to 2 cups cooked rice noodles (about 7 ounces uncooked)
  23. Additional basil leaves, for garnish
  24. Additional cilantro leaves, for garnish
  25. Additional lime wedges, for garnish
  26. Additional red pepper flakes, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and sauté lemongrass, garlic, and ginger for 2 minutes until flagrant.
  2. Add in mushrooms, bok choy, bean sprouts, and snap peas. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until veggies begin to soften.
  3. Add in broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, curry powder, chilis, basil, cilantro, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in shrimp and mix until shrimp becomes opaque.
  5. Add in spiralized summer squash or zucchinis, and rice noodles if adding.
  6. Taste and adjust salt and spices as desired. Garnish and serve hot.
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Thai-curry-soup1

Thai-curry-soup


 Juli made you Easy Shrimp Skewers with Chard Cilantro Pesto

Easy Shrimp

Cassy made you Thai Chard Shrimp Wraps

Thai Chard Shrimp Wraps 

 

What is your favorite Thai dish?

Easy Scallop Pasta

This Zucchini Noodles with Scallops is a super delicious lightened version of scallop pasta using zoodles. This quick weeknight dinner is perfect for summer time. It’s gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly.

Zucchini and scallopZucchini Noodles with Scallops

This year I joined a local CSA and cannot believe it has taken me this long to get involved in one. So many of you ask how to shop and eat clean on a budget, and I highly recommend joining a local CSA to help with your shopping. For the money we spent for the 20 weeks, the amount of produce we get weekly is AMAZING. I am making all the fresh veggies with dinner. And lunch. And breakfast!

Like this delicious Zucchini Noodles with Scallops!

Probably one of the easiest, most delicious, light dinners around.

Perfect for SUMMER!

Scallop Pasta with noodlesIngredients Needed for Scallop Pasta recipe:

  • Fresh Scallops
  • Butter or oil
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Broth (Vegetable or Chicken)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Basil
  • Summer Squash or Zucchini
  • Bacon

Zucchini noodles with scallops being twisted with a fork

If you like this seafood recipe, check out these others:

If you like this zoodle recipe, check out these others:

Easy Scallop Pasta
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Sauce
  1. 1 lb. fresh scallops
  2. 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  5. 1 cup Pacific Organic Chicken Bone Stock
  6. 1 tsp fine pink sea salt, more to taste
  7. 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, more to taste
  8. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  9. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  10. 1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped
Everything else
  1. 3-4 summer squash or zucchini
  2. 4 strips crispy bacon
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over scallops and set aside
  2. Add butter to your skillet and sauté minced garlic and onion for 5-7 minutes, stirring often
  3. Add in scallops and sear for 3 minutes on each side
  4. Once scallops are seared, add in broth, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  5. Mix to combine, reduce heat, and let simmer for 7-10 minutes, until broth thickens slightly and flavors meld together
  6. Taste, add in basil, and adjust spices as desired
  7. While cooking, make bacon as desired and set aside
  8. Use your spiralizer to spiralize squash
  9. In a skillet heat an additional tbsp of oil or butter and sauté veggie noodles for 5 minutes, tossing often
  10. Place noodles in a bowl, top with scallops and sauce, add additional fresh basil and garnish with bacon
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

 

What is your favorite Summer dinner?