A month ago I joined a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, and I now have a weekly CSA pickup with Johnson’s Backyard Garden in Central Texas. Woohoo! I’ve been part of CSA programs before, and I’ve always loved getting my produce directly from local farmers, so I’m glad to be a farm shareholder again.
When I lived in Tennessee I was a “virtual farmhand” for a local family farm, supporting them as a CSA member, as well as serving as a blogger and recipe developer for them. I would write about the produce for the week and come up with one or two recipes using the veggies in that week’s box. (You can check out archived blog posts from my time as a virtual farmhand on my personal website at liaballentine.com.) In Santa Monica, I lived just a few blocks away from the Santa Monica Farmers Market, so I didn’t join a CSA there because I had great access to a variety of local produce basically at my doorstep.
Finding A CSA Program in Austin
I didn’t join a CSA immediately after moving to Austin. I knew I wanted to at some point; but being in new in town, I also wanted time to explore the local markets first and discover the local vendors and makers. I held off on joining a program for a few months as I was settling into my new community.
But the pandemic hit.
I found out very quickly that the way I was going to source food would be different. Challenging. And I felt like it was the right time to make sure I could do as much as possible to support my local community.
I was familiar with Johnson’s Backyard Garden from the Texas Farmers Market, and I felt like they’d be a great local farm to support. So I signed up for their CSA program, and after spending a little time on the waitlist, I made it! (I’m very happy that their program is so popular. To me, it means that people highly value our local farms.)
Convenient CSA Pickups—In My Neighborhood!
One of the many reasons I joined this particular farm’s program is the ease of pickup. In addition to pickups at the several farmers market locations around town, Johnson’s Backyard Garden also has residential pickup spots where someone has volunteered to be a drop-off/pickup location for a few people. I’ve been picking up my CSA boxes from a designated pickup spot that is a mile from my house. I can walk to it! It couldn’t be more convenient.
My CSA pickup from Johnson’s Backyard Garden is the highlight of my week. It’s like a fun, delicious surprise. (“What’s in the box??? Let’s see!”)
I got my box yesterday, and I have so many good veggies to eat. This week’s box includes amazing collard greens, fennel, curly kale, golden beets, leeks, potatoes, and lettuce. Mmm! 😋💚
Share Your Recipe Ideas
If you have any good recipe ideas that use these veggies, let me know in the comment! I’d love your suggestions! (I’m thinking about using the potatoes and leeks for a vichyssoise???) 🤗
Also, anyone else part of a CSA program? If so, I’d love to learn more about your experience. Give me a shout! 👩🏻🌾
P.S. I’ve been participating in #the100dayproject on my personal Instagram (@liaballentine) and have been creating still life photos. Most of the photographs are of food (of course!), and my CSA pickups have been the subject of several still life photos. Check it out if you like moody photos! 📷⠀⠀⠀
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Day 9 // Veggies! ✧ I joined the @jbgorganic CSA program and had my first pickup this afternoon! My box included beautiful carrots, beets, rainbow chard, curly kale, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, and fresh mint. ✨🥬🥕🍃😋✨ I was part of a CSA when I was in Tennessee, and I loved it. In California, I was lucky enough to live just a few blocks away from the Santa Monica Farmers Market, where I'd shop for produce almost every weekend. Now that I'm in Texas, I'm excited to be a CSA member again, and I'm looking forward to all of the amazing veggies from Johnson's Backyard Garden! 💚 . . . . . #the100dayproject #the100dayproject2020 #100days #stilllife #stilllifephotography #oldmasters #photography #photographer #learningnewthings #isolationcreation #slowliving #independentstudy #lightandshadow #darkandmoody #chiaroscuro #chiaroscurophotography #naturallight #windowlight #vegetables #CSA #atx #eatlocal #organic #supportlocal #sonyalpha #alphacollective #bealpha #sonyalphafemale #adobelightroom #creatingfromhome