Sunday, August 7, 2011


For people that can afford it and have the opportunity to do so, buying a share of a CSA, or community supported agriculture can be a great way to get a lot of produce at a pretty cheap price.  However, if you are on food stamps or don't have that kind of money, often a couple hundred dollars, at once, you are SOL when it comes to CSAs.  That's why I support the notion of FreeSAs, or free supported agriculture!

I think it is fair to say that most gardeners, at some point or another will have more of something than they need or want to deal with.  Sometimes, gardeners even want to go on *gasp* vacation and need someone to harvest their goodies while they are gone.  Any of these offer opportunities to receive a FreeSA box.  Start letting people know that you are happy to accept garden surplus and you might be amazed at what you end up with!
This was dropped off at my house on Thursday, all free, and most of it just because I've made it be very known that I won't refuse any free produce!  The potatoes I did ask for specifically from my mom, but she didn't want to deal with the beets so she brought them by and the carrots were a surprise from her.  The zucchini and lemon squash were from longtime reader and shorttime friend Lee R., who I've affectionately dubbed the zucchini fairy.  She put a call out on Facebook mentioning that she was about to drown in lemon squash so I admitted that I wouldn't turn any down, even though I'd never heard of lemon squash and didn't know exactly what to do with it (turns out it is just a summer squash and you can do anything with it that you'd do with any summer squash).  Within a couple hours, the zucchini fairy had left the zucchini (which, again, I wasn't expecting) and five lemon squash on my doorstep!  I wouldn't be surprised if I acquire more random veggies at church today either.  It's just getting to that time of year!

Of course, when you make it known that you would appreciate any and all produce, you may end up with some foods that you've never had or never prepared so you don't know what to do with.  No big deal!  See, there is this thing called the internet where you can type in just about anything into a search engine and find the information you need instantly.  Or you can cheat--ask me!  I've put together an alphabetical listing of fruits and vegetables I've used in recipes on this blog and given them their own page for you to refer to.  Shortly, if it isn't already up there by the time you read this, there will be a tab right next to where it says "home" up above that will permanently link to this page for your convenience.  If the veggie (or fruit) that you need to know about, just let me know (contact info is also permanently on that page) and I'll see if I can come up with something ASAP.   I'll be continuously updating it as I post new recipes to the blog, too.

So, go out into the world, dear readers, and happily and fearlessly accept whatever produce that happens your way.  I'm here for you!  *smiles*


  1. I love it! Around here many of the gardeners put out free boxes with their extras out front and if you're driving, walking, biking by you can take what you want :-) I love it!

  2. We live in a fairly low-income neighborhood, so if anyone has extras in the garden, they use them up themselves, or trade with other gardeners for what they want ("I'll give you a bushel of peaches for a bushel of apples").

    When it comes to cooking with garden produce, I've already added your site to the list. You might want to check out the "Chickens In The Road" site - she's got a sister-site called "Farm Bell Recipes" with reader-donated recipes for farm cooking. She also regularly gives away canning books in an effort to promote safe and healthy canning.

  3. There are two other CSA options, both of which we've used (including this year).

    Option one is using part of a tax return. CSA sign up and tax return season usually overlap in our area so in the past we've paid that way. This year it just wasn't an option because we had to replace our van, so...

    Option two is barter for service. We offered to help with some graphic design and website work for a share, and they took us up on the offer. We've bartered in exchange for kids violin lessons, artwork, construction help and now veggies :) It helps that others were willing to barter their skills and goods with us.

    LOVE the new is something I am definitely not naturally good at so the more help the better.