about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Special Delivery.

I’ve been waiting for a package on my doorstep all afternoon.  Packages are a pretty common occurrence here, as we are both quite addicted to Amazon Prime and loathe shopping in person.  Shampoo on my doorstep in two days for free vs dragging a baby out to the store?  Don’t mind if I do!  But today’s delivery was something different…

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We joined a CSA!  I have been wanting to join a CSA ever since I worked on an organic farm in North Carolina two summers ago.  I love the idea of supporting local farms and businesses, as well as having a variety of fresh produce delivered straight to my doorstep. 

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Whenever I go to the grocery store, I tend to buy a lot of the same things over and over again.  I thought joining a CSA would help us mix up our dinners and our meals a bit more.  I’m also looking to streamline our grocery shopping.  I tend to go to like five different stores – one place for produce, one for pantry, one for bulks – and it’s not a very efficient use of my time or energy.

We’re using New Roots Organics, which happens to be right around the corner from my old house in Fremont.  With New Roots, the fruits and veggies are selected for us each week based on what’s in season and available, but we have the ability to sub things in and out based on our preferences. 

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Let’s check out our first haul!  First up – greens.  One bunch red leaf lettuce, one bunch red chard, and one bunch of giant spinach leaves.  We can never have too many greens in our house – these will not last long.

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I opted for the mixed bin – both fruits and veggies – since I wanted a bit of both.  Today’s bin included this container of GIGANTIC strawberries.  Hard to believe these are organic!  Most of the organic berries I buy at the store are itty bitty.

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Underneath all the greens on top, the rest of the goodies were lurking…

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Three teeny tiny avocados.  I added these in (can’t remember what I subbed out) because I wanted to mash some up for baby food this week.

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Also, local Anjou pears!  These will also likely become baby mash.  Hope he likes them!

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One pound of gypsy sweet peppers.  What should I do with these?  I need ideas!

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The total box included the following (all organic and local)…

Veggies:

  • 2 lbs red new potatoes
  • 1 bunch purple beets
  • 1 red leaf lettuce
  • 1 red chard
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 lb crookneck squash
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 lb gypsy sweet peppers

Fruits:

  • 2 peaches
  • 4 Fuji apples
  • 4 Valencia oranges
  • 1 lb strawberries
  • 6 bananas
  • 3 Hass avocados
  • 6 Anjou pears

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For $39.50 total, I think that’s a great deal.  Plus I love knowing that our money is supporting local farms and a local business, and it’s saving me trips to multiple grocery stores.  I’m looking forward to sharing our adventures in cooking our way through the CSA haul each week.

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We are off to the neighborhood Friday night market for vegan bean tamales, a round on the baby swings, and hopefully some fresh cut flowers.  Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend!

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85 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Emily     at 5:12 pm

Very cool! Do they use some of the larger organic suppliers? That looked like Cal Organic spinach, and obviously they aren’t growing the bananas and avocados in Oregon :). I love CSAs! I’m so sad we’re moving this summer, so we can’t get one…

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alanna Reply:

I was going to ask where are those bananas coming from? I know that west coast people have a longer season and more access to citrus and other fun things then us northeast folks, but bananas?

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha no bananas growing in Seattle. :) Here’s what they say on their website…

“We are very particular about what goes in our bins each week and we have made it a point over the years to get to know the farms and (labels) that we buy from.

Our produce comes from Washington, Oregon, and California primarily. We always buy seasonally, so you will not find melons or corn for instance, in our bins in the winter. “

[Reply]

Emily Reply:

Also, I can’t believe I said Oregon! I of course meant Washington…my brain is fried today.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Here’s what they say on their website…

“We are very particular about what goes in our bins each week and we have made it a point over the years to get to know the farms and (labels) that we buy from.

Our produce comes from Washington, Oregon, and California primarily. We always buy seasonally, so you will not find melons or corn for instance, in our bins in the winter. ”

So definitely could be the Cal spinach!

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Sana     at 5:13 pm

Your family will put the CSA veggies to good use!

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RLR at Mom's Magic     at 5:14 pm

That all looks delicious! We have joined a program that does all NC produce, and so far I’m very happy with it. I’m excited to mix it up and bit and work with seasonal items. I had to skip two deliveries due to potentially being out of town, and I haven’t loved the produce from the grocery store near as much!

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Jessica Conte     at 5:14 pm

I vote you post what you’re ordering the week before!! Then I can order the same and you can tell me what to do with them! Haha – seriously though – some sort of info on that would be awesome – you’re my food guru!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha I might be able to do something like that. :) I’ll probably post what I get on Fridays some weeks, but recipes won’t be until later the following week.

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Elly     at 5:14 pm

Yum! We get a fruit and veg delivery too, but it’s autumn here, so lots of pumpkin at the moment! It’s the most exciting part of my week!

You could cut the peppers lengthwise and stuff them and bake them?

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Sabrina     at 5:15 pm

Cool! I’m confused by the stickers though. The local farms put them on? We did a csa last year and half the foods still had dirt on them, forget about stickers!

Those strawberries look so juicy and red. They must taste like summer in a bite.

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Lori Reply:

The oranges and avocados must be from somewhere else (Cali? Mexico?) because I don’t think they grow in the North West (at least they don’t up in Vancouver, 2 hours north- though I wish they do!)

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Emily Malone Reply:

They source from Washington, Oregon, and California in order to get a range of produce! Mostly local, but they want to provide “balanced boxes.”

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Leah Reply:

I love this approach! I volunteer at a farm in MA and that’s one of the small farm challenges–getting the produce to buyers in a timely fashion (direct to consumer). Since only 1% of the US population is actually a FARMER and the job is no longer listed on the census it’s even more important to support a CSA like this one. I like the diversity of the selection, Emily!

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Emily Malone Reply:

They buy from farms as well as local distributors (who source directly from farms). The farm I worked on in NC always gave dirty produce too. I loved it!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 5:19 pm

That is a LOT of produce for $40!! Nice!

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Erin     at 5:25 pm

We lived joining a CSA last year it was a great way to try new things ( some I’d never heard of) and support a local farmer. I’m jealous that they deliver I had to trek home on the subway with our take and boy those veggies start to get heavy when there are less greens and more squash later in the season–but it was worth it. I ended up making quiche several times to use up the veggies-a great thing to freeze too. Oh, and we’re going to try avacado with G this weekend too :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Quiche and frittatas – great idea!

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Ashley     at 5:34 pm

Wow! I am so jealous of being able to join a CSA–not one around here, will have to stick to farmer markets. :)

I was so curious about the gypsy peppers.. found this!

Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salad adapted from The Vegetable Market Cookbook by Robert Budwig

3 sweet peppers
4 ripe tomatoes
1/4 preserved lemon (or 2 teaspoons grated zest with some of the lemon’s juice)
2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed pinch sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 t black pepper

Grill or roast peppers, remove skins, cut into small cubes and set aside. Blanch tomatoes for 15-20 seconds in boiling water. Drain and remove skins and stems. Cut in half and remove seeds. Cut into small cubes. Rinse the preserved lemon under running water and remove the pulp. Cut the rind into fine dice. Arrange peppers, tomatoes and lemon in a dish. Mix remaining ingredients to make a dressing and pour over the salad. Mix well.

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Emily Malone Reply:

That sounds awesome! Thank you!

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Erin@Just Breathe     at 5:36 pm

I’ve gotten the Green Bean delivery here in Columbus (home base is Cincinnati) and I absolutely loved it!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yay Cincinnati!

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Jessica     at 5:41 pm

How does this CSA work? Is it like a network with organic farms elsewhere? There certainly can’t be avocados and bananas growing near Seattle…

I guess I should read more into CSAs. I’ve heard from friends who like it but haven’t taken the plunge myself. I’m interested to see what future hauls hold!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Here’s how they describe it on their website…

“We are very particular about what goes in our bins each week and we have made it a point over the years to get to know the farms and (labels) that we buy from.

Our produce comes from Washington, Oregon, and California primarily. We always buy seasonally, so you will not find melons or corn for instance, in our bins in the winter. ”

Yep, they buy from several different farms as well as distributors – all sourced from this general area.

[Reply]

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 5:45 pm

Wow! That’s a great haul for $39.50! We belonged to a CSA last year and loved it. It was like Christmas morning every Monday when we had a pickup. There were only 2 downsides – when a certain food is in it’s prime growing time, you get a LOT of it. If you have a freezer that’s great otherwise you get a little sick of some things. Second, if it’s a horrible growing season, you won’t get much food.

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Emily Malone Reply:

We try to buy what’s in season at the store too, so we sort of already had the oversupply problem. We’ll definitely have to get creative!

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RachelSD     at 5:58 pm

You’re going to love having a CSA box. We’ve been getting ours for over a year and we love it. All CA grown and certified organic. My husband and I have a carrot every morning with breakfast. Every. Day. We think it’s hilarious. They actually taste like carrots! My husband was so confused the first time we got them- what is this green stuff on the top of the carrots!!?? :) Have fun exploring all the new-to-you produce!

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Allie     at 6:21 pm

Looks yummy!!! I want to pass on some info I just received a week ago, check the labels of your almond and coconut milk for an additive called carrageenan. Many studies have linked it to gastrointestinal cancer and these milks can be made with out the use of this additive! I know for sure the Trader Joe’s Coconut milk contains it, but their almond milk does not.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Good to know! We’ll look into it…

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Lisa     at 6:35 pm

My Cullen LOVED mashed avocado and banana…combined! I miss those days of feeding, so cute discovering what they like and dislike :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Another Cullen! Love it!

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Sarah     at 6:42 pm

We joined a CSA too, but don’t get our first shipment for a week or two. Last night I got an email asking me to pick which varieties of berries I want. Um….all of them???

See you soon!

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luv what you do     at 6:43 pm

How fun!
I miss my CSA from last summer. It was too far away and I haven’t found a delivery one that isn’t too expensive or too much food. I’ll have to keep looking!

Atleast you’ve got some food since your cookies were eaten again!

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Aimee     at 6:54 pm

You could do stuffed peppers w/ those! Cornmeal, canned tomatoes in juice, black beans, onion etc.

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Leila @ Spinach and Skittles     at 6:59 pm

What a great deal on your box, and fun that you get your Freemont fix :) We, too, are amazon prime addicts, and hit multiple grocery stores, so I’m surprised we haven’t signed up for a CSA yet.

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LaceyAnn     at 7:11 pm

I so want to join CSA! Unfortunately I’m living alone and don’t think I could consume that many fruits and veggies at once! When I move back in with my boyfriend though, it will happen!
Also, I love gypsy peppers just chopped up on green salads! They are very subtle compared to bell peppers so they don’t overwhelm everything else in the salad.

[Reply]

Leah Reply:

You can share a CSA with a friend. A lot of folks in my area do that. Check with colleagues and friends to see if someone wants to split it! You have to get creative to support the local farms and food businesses!

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Simply Life     at 7:21 pm

We use a CSA as well- next week I should get our first load of the season. I LOVE being forced to get creative with different foods and especially to support local farmers! Can’t wait to see what you make!

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Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats     at 8:07 pm

Wow Emily I am super interested in this CSA now! When I first moved to Kirkland I tried to look for one but the ones I came up with were super expensive. This one is more in my range but I’m worried I won’t be able to eat all of that produce before it goes bad! (I live with my boyfriend but he hardly touches the stuff sadly.) Do you think its worth it to sign up for a week and just see how it goes? I was also thinking of just doing it bi-weekly but then I’m worried the produce will go bad making it last two weeks instead of one. Thoughts on the quality of this CSA produce?

[Reply]

Samantha Reply:

Where I live we have an option of a 3/4 box most of the season with Jubilee Farm (Fall City). I am single did a pretty good job with things not going to waste but I had to really get on the soups, etc.

I don’t bother in the summer though. Even though the produce is amazing as a single person there would be too much waste and they don’t do 3/4 in the summer.

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Krystina (Krystina Yogini)     at 8:42 pm

That’s an amazing deal!

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See     at 8:47 pm

I’ve always wanted to join a CSA but have never had a chance (or the money!). Looking forward to seeing what you do with yours :)

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bitt     at 9:19 pm

local bananas in Seattle? it sure has gotten hot since I left! haha.

I see you replied to other’s comments, maybe you should edit your post.

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jessica kiehn     at 10:04 pm

This is great! Wonder if we have something similar in my neck of the woods.
And emily…I love your blog!

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Hanna     at 11:39 pm

I like to cut peppers like those in half, put them an a baking sheet and fill them with olives, feta cheese, spring onions, tomatoes and couscous and put them in the oven until the cheese is melted. But to be honest you can just fill them with anything what comes to your mind =)

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sammie     at 5:16 am

wow-that is the coolest thing! I’ve never heard of that! I live in Queens (nyc) and just googled…just e-mailed one by me for more info!!!

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chiara     at 6:33 am

Looking forward to your posts on cooking through your CSA box. Some of my favorite writing of yours comes from your time interning at the farm in NC. you came up with amazing dishes and under pressure!

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Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife     at 6:53 am

That’s so awesome, congrats on joining a CSA! We’ve been doing the CSA thing for about 6 months now and I absolutely love it. It’s introduced me to SO many new ingredients and really makes me feel good about the quality of our produce.

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Amateur Mommy     at 7:06 am

Awesome! We joined a CSA this year too, I just posted about it recently– http://talesofanamateurmommy.blogspot.com/2012/05/fun-on-farm.html

Ours is not delivered to us, we have to go uptown to pick it up, but it’s not far and it’s all organic. I’m very excited! We pick up our first share this Weds.

The peppers– my first thought is in a wrap to give it a little kick? Or maybe on a hummus and roasted veggie pizza.

[Reply]

Allison @Can't Wait For Breakfast     at 7:34 am

Those peppers look like the kind my serbian future mother-in-law puts in their traditional “sopska” salad. She cuts up tomato, cucumber, those peppers, and tosses them with some vinegar. She then adds feta cheese depending on the rest of the meal. Its simple but really good!

[Reply]

Amy     at 9:46 am

My husband and I get something similar delivered in MA. We have tried so many new fruits and veggies! We get it from a small company that sources from mostly local farms, but also from along the east coast.

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Gabrielle     at 9:54 am

We just started a CSA last week too! We are using Farm Fresh to You (a Bay Area group). Such a great deal.

Also – they posted a recipe for the gypsy peppers today on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150217977935927&set=a.377166450926.161193.372141775926&type=1&theater

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Awesome!! Thank you!

[Reply]

Samantha     at 10:05 am

I just got my food co-op basket and it has a bunch of Purple kohlrabi. Not a single clue what to do with it and all the websites I find say just puree it but that doesn’t sound appealing to me! Help!

[Reply]

Ashley Reply:

Samantha – we got kohlrabi in our CSA box last week, and ended up roasting it – it was great! I peeled it, cubed it, tossed in olive oil/sea salt/pepper and roasted just like potatoes. My preschooler loved it – he called the cubes “fries.” :)

[Reply]

Samantha Reply:

Thank you so much Ashley! That’s such a great use, I’d have no idea otherwise! I read on some website that it was similar to an apple and I was totally lost!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Samantha, I used to make kohlrabi on my farm all the time! I second the recommendation to roast it – SO good. Another option is to grate it raw and use it in a slaw. I did some with jicama, carrots, apples, raisins, and a yogurt sauce – delicious!

[Reply]

Jenn     at 10:53 am

I love my CSA, and I’m so excited to see what you come up with! I’ve thought you’d be perfect for one (and hoped you’d join), since it seems like your kind of thing! And now, I can get my own inspiration from your creativity!

[Reply]

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 11:06 am

You could roast them and make some sort of dip! Or just add them chopped up into a grain salad or something. I want to join a CSA so badly, but I know that once I start working at a restaurant in a few weeks, I won’t have the time to use it all up! :(

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Jenny     at 11:24 am

I would slice the peppers and cook them up with some onions, and then make tacos. Maybe with some black beans and rice in there too. I pretty much love all peppers that way!

[Reply]

Melanie @ Thinking Thin Loving Food     at 11:39 am

This is right up your alley! I like the idea of trying new things as well. Looking forward to returning to the US and having some fruit/veg delivered. Always feels good buying from locals!

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Coco     at 12:45 pm

Wow that’s a great hall!!

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Mandi@Mandi*Land     at 4:42 pm

Wow! That looks great for the price! We just signed up for Amazon Prime and were thinking about joining a CSA as well! Based on your post and all the comments, it seems like a really great idea. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

[Reply]

Samantha     at 5:13 pm

Do you have any guilt regarding having everything sent to you..like shampoo? I tend to feel bad about the packaging and the fuel it takes to have things delivered to my door. Its tough when its cheaper to be sent than to buy locally…

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Well the shampoo thing was sort of a joke – I try to order things in bulk or in multiples to reduce deliveries and packaging. As far as fuel goes, either I’m driving to the store, or the product is being delivered to me. I do wish there was less packaging, but I think Amazon does a pretty good job of keeping it to the minimum. Also, Amazon is actually based on Seattle, and a lot of the distribution is here too. So often times we can get things like same-day delivery, which makes me realize that it’s not really coming from that far away!

[Reply]

Heather     at 7:35 pm

wow that’s a great load! it’s awesome that you have the ability to sub in/out – i think some people are deterred from CSAs because they never know what they’re going to get.

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Jackie     at 9:18 pm

Your produce looks great! This doesn’t seem like a CSA to me though. In a CSA, you typically pay the same amount each week in order to support the farmer, and if the crop is poor one week you don’t get as much. Usually they try to make up for it the next week though. It’s a way to help make the farm more financially stable. New Roots Organics seems like an organic produce delivery service, similar to SPUD in Vancouver: http://www.spud.ca/

It’s a small technicality, but if people who are interested in a CSA are hesitating because they want more control over what they get each week perhaps an organic produce delivery service like this is a good way to go.

I don’t comment often so I will also use this space to tell you that I think Cullen is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen! I love seeing his pictures and videos :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Right – I worked on a CSA farm for several months, and I know what you mean. This is still community supported agriculture – just pulling from several farms instead of just one. We have SPUD here too! I’ve thought about using it. But that is more of a grocery delivery service (at least here in Seattle). It’s so nice ot have all these great options for getting healthy food to your doorstep!

[Reply]

Leah Reply:

In The Weight of the Nation food models (similar to this CSA) are really having a hard time. Some are just starting to do well (when a bunch of growers band together). It’s not an easy climate out there so I think supporting this type of business is fantastic (versus going to your local Stop & Shop and buying everything grown in Chile and Mexico).

[Reply]

Brooke @ In Full Bloom     at 9:22 am

That produce looks amazing! And not bad for $40!

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Jennifer     at 9:00 pm

I just recently heard of these and I’ve been looking to join one in my area. I love the idea of supporting the community, plus it’s like you get a little surprise each week!

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B @ Crags and Veggies     at 9:33 am

Can’t wait to see what you do! I’m loving trying out my CSA and figuring out what to make with the vegetables I’m handed!

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Lena Livanes     at 5:00 pm

Great!! I’m so glad you went with New Roots, I have been really happy with them so far. I love getting my delivery each week, it is like all my Christmases have come at once. I look forward to seeing what you do with your produce each week.

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Lauren     at 6:45 pm

I would love to try this, but I don’t know if it would work for me because I live on my own.

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Lisa     at 10:31 pm

That is a GREAT deal! We do one here but it’s $33 and we don’t get as much. One thing I’ll be interested to hear is if your greens go bad quickly? I feel like mine go bad faster when we get them delivered than if I buy them at the store. I usually don’t wash them until right before I use them, but maybe I should? Anyway, would love to hear how your greens do :) Love the pics of all the fresh food! mmmm

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alex     at 8:43 am

we love New Roots! i was always so happy with their products

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Meagan     at 8:14 am

That is a great deal! The red leaf lettuce looks fabulous! An idea for the peppers: roast them half way and then stuff them with diced cauliflower, raisins, capers, chopped cashews and curry spices, and roast until all cooked through and warm. Do you do cheese? I can’t remember, if so, add some grated parmesan on top :D

[Reply]

Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats     at 10:33 am

So I finally signed up for a box (better late than never right?) and put you as my referral. Hope you get some credit out of it!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Oh awesome – thanks so much, Robyn!

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Baked Kohlrabi Chips.     at 1:44 pm

[...] I had a huge drawer filled with beets that I collected last week at various markets and through our CSA.  And then Cullen took a long nap and I got all excited about meal planning and doing food [...]

Delishhh     at 3:20 pm

My last CSA i had to go to a pick up and pick up my produce, just read about your here so i canceled my old and just signed up to yours – sounds so much better! Thanks for the info!

[Reply]

Weekend. | Easy And Healthy Meals     at 10:18 am

[...] our cart.  It is sad how much I enjoyed family Friday night grocery shopping.  We had our CSA bin delivered on Friday too, so our fridge is now PACKED with all sorts of amazing produce.  [...]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Weekly Meal Prep.     at 6:56 pm

[...] food for us to eat that week.  It varies from week to week, depending on what comes in our CSA delivery, or what was on sale at the store, but the basics tend to stay the [...]

Elise @ Expeditions of Elise     at 11:53 am

Hey Emily! Would love to check out this post but for some reason the photos aren’t loading! Not sure if it’s something on my end (I use Chrome) but your other posts are loading fine. Just wanted to let you know.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for the heads up! I’ll fix it tonight!

[Reply]

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