The ABC’s of CSA

July 18, 2010

The Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition (MACSAC) is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect CSA farmers and eaters. MACSAC has two annual happenings.  The CSA Open House offers member workshops and a CSA farm fair.   Their pledge-based Bike the Barns event helps support their Partner Shares Program, which subsidizes CSA shares for low-income families.

“The Partner Shares Program is a unique initiative
aimed at improving nutrition by increasing access
to fresh, local vegetables and
supporting local farmers in southern Wisconsin.
Partner Shares provides financial assistance for fresh,
sustainably grown produce from local CSA farms.”

MACSAC’s “From Asparagus to Zucchini:
A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh, Seasonal Produce” is the perfect CSA companion. It is an educational guide as well as a cookbook.  Recipes are
organized alphabetically by vegetable and headed with a picture and species name for easy identification.  The book offers natural history, storage information and preparation techniques for dozens of crops. Recipes from farmers and celebrity chefs alike are beautifully simple, bringing out the fresh flavor of the CSA season.  Don’t skip over the “Food for Thought” section at the beginning, which illustrates the benefits of CSA that transcend taste. If you are a researcher like me, or want to learn more about food preservation, composting, food politics or gardening, head to the “Resources” list at the end of the book. If not, just use this versatile cookbook to enjoy the vegetables of the seasons.


4 Responses to “The ABC’s of CSA”

  1. Aubergine said

    Thanks to my sister Alex for gifting me “From Asparagus to Zucchini” for my birthday this past year.

  2. Alex said

    you are most welcome! Pumped you like it. Think that it’s this sort of holistic approach to CSA that will make the model work. It makes getting a crop share seem more accessible to people who think, what the hell am I going to cook with this weird vegetable?

  3. What a great concept. I agree that a more holistic approach is likely to make the model more successful.

  4. Aubergine said

    There is a lot of talk about the food movement being elitist, and in a lot of ways it is. However, there are non-profits like MACSAC popping up all over the country that work to increase food access. Weird vegetables are a part of this-folks that can just barely afford a CSA feel like they are wasting much needed money if they can’t figure out what to do with a kohlrabi before it goes bad. Subsidizing shares for those families gives them an opportunity to get used to CSA and from there, as Robyn Van En says, there are “untold possibilities”- more people can start connecting to the land and farmers that feed them.

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