Tell everyone that you have
signed up for a CSA share
“In these days of pesticides and genetically modified organisms, it is so important to know your farmer,” you tell a lady at the grocery store. Although you don’t exactly know your farmer, your farmer is likely Paul, the person who sent the CSA confirmation email.
“CSA stands for ‘Community-Supported Agriculture,’” you tell your mom over the phone. “Or Community Shared Agriculture? Either way, it is about community and local food and caring about things… Yes, mom, it does make me feel better about myself.”
“Why doesn’t everyone have a garden share,” you ask your husband, three weeks before your CSA has started.
“I’m sure we will get to find out,” he says.
What the hell is a kohlrabi?
Your pick up your first CSA box! You are pretty sure that the bag of greens is spinach, and you are able to identify the garlic scapes by conducting a Google image search for “Curly CSA thing that smells like garlic but isn’t garlic?” You have no idea what the kohlrabi is. You take a picture of the kohlrabi and text it to your vegan friend.
YOU: What is this?
VEGAN FRIEND: You got a CSA share?
YOU: How do you know that?
VEGAN FRIEND: No one buys kohlrabi on purpose.
You slice up the kohlrabi, make some dip, and bring it to your book club meeting. You then bring the platter of kohlrabi and dip home from your book club meeting.
Paul is indeed your farmer.
And now you know him
Paul hovers over you, counting the carrots with his eyes while you bag your share of vegetables at the CSA farm stand each week. Paul often contradicts himself by mentioning each time you use non-biodegradable plastic grocery bags to carry your food home but also often professing that, “It’s all good.” Paul has dirt under his cracked fingernails. Paul wears a straw hat. Paul has a degree in philosophy, but no office wall to hang it on. He tells you this two weeks in a row. You avoid Paul at all costs, but when you can’t, you try to mention offhand that you are reusing the same plastic grocery bags as last week. In fact, you’ve had them since college. “I found all of them floating in the wind and drifting along the river,” you add once, puzzling yourself and Paul.
YOU: Seriously, what is a kohlrabi?
VEGAN FRIEND: It tastes like the part of the broccoli you throw away.
VEGAN FRIEND: You haven’t heard of it because it isn’t good.
VEGAN FRIEND: I’d rather eat pork.
Creatively disposing of greens
Oh god, your refrigerator is filled with pillowcase-sized bags of greens. Oh god.
Luckily, one of your CSA emails contains ideas for using all of the greens you receive each week. Paul suggests throwing a handful of spinach into your next breakfast smoothie or making a delectable Swiss chard gratin if you aren’t vegan yet. He also suggests kale burritos, arugula pizza, escarole pie, and two other nonsensical meal ideas. But you realize that all of these solutions, without exception, involve eating greens. So you brainstorm:
- Create fake garden art installation?
- Begin sub-CSA/greens-based pyramid scheme?
- Finally start to compost? Possibly for fake garden?
YOU: I have two more kohlrabis. Is kohlrabis the plural of kohlrabi?
VEGAN FRIEND: I don’t know.
VEGAN FRIEND: Usually people stop acquiring them after one.
Ending your support
of community agriculture
You can’t look into Paul’s clear eyes and sunburned face and cancel your CSA share for next year. So you do it over email. Then you can’t bear to show your face at the CSA stand to pick up your last box, even though it is freaking finally gourd week. But you know that you have made the right decision. This way, you can save a lot of money and not have to eat all of those vegetables. This way, you will finally have the funds to get some backyard chickens. Wouldn’t it be great to collect eggs for your breakfast every morning? Why doesn’t everyone do that?
YOU: I think this is the last kohlrabi. What should I do with it?
VEGAN FRIEND: Throw it at someone.