So we recently joined a couple of CSA's. CSA's, for those of you who have been living under a rock, are Community Supported Agriculture. You basically buy shares in a farm and they give you produce regularly in return. Nice deal.
We joined Eatwell Farm, from which we get a box every week, and we joined Marin Sun Farms, who deliver a box of meat once a month. Last week was our first week, and we got a box from each farm. The prices are very reasonable for the amount of food we get: much cheaper than comparable quality foods from the Expensive Yuppie Market, and only slightly cheaper than the same things we can get at the nearest grocery store (and much higher quality).
First, let me tell you about the meat. We got 15lbs of meat, which is way more meat than we usually eat in a month but will allow us to have dinner parties with meat, and also we can make stock and sausages. We opted for a mix of types, with no exclusions so we'll have beef, goat, lamb, pig, and sometimes chicken (there was no choice to opt out of chicken or we would have). It comes frozen (this is good) in vacuum-sealed packages (very good). We ate a couple of pork chops that were very tasty, and then last night we had goatburgers. Yes, they sent us ground goat, which tastes, not surprisingly, remarkably like a lean ground beef. No "goaty" flavour. It was OK. I think it would have worked better in a stew or something, but it made a decent burger.
The pork chops were awesome. It's almost enough to make me really like meat, which I haven't been (see also previous rant about barbeque).
And the vegetable box. A nice-sized box of mixed stuff, including a bunch of tomatoes (nice, because we're heavy on the cherry tomatoes now with no eating tomatoes yet), from potatoes, radishes, basil, plums, some other stuff. It was pretty good. We can definitely eat all that produce in a week because we've torn through much of the box already and we don't get the next one until Friday. And this with a massive bowl of nectarines in the fridge from our own tree.
Sunday night I went to the store to pick up some stuff and it was like Dairy Week: the only thing I can't find a good CSA for is dairy (and bread, but let's be reasonable). I got some disappointing non-homogenized milk at Trader Joe's, but it was pretty old and the cream stuck to the top of the container it was in and will have to be extracted by destroying the bottle (which is plastic: 10 demerits). I may just start buying Strauss Creamery products at the Expensive Yuppie Market.
The point of this is not so much about becoming locavores, but really more about eating more kinds of food and trying new things. When we shop for ourselves we are distressingly dull, so we decided to mix it up and get a bunch of stuff that just isn't available in our grocery stores. We're enjoying the challenge of cooking from the box instead of falling back on old standbys.