Monday, August 20, 2012

Farm Share: Final Verdict

It occurs to me that my weekly postings describing my Farm Share bounty have completely fallen off.  Sorry about that, but since we've reached almost the end of the summer growing season, I'm going to look back on this whole experience and try to figure out whether or not it was worth it and how I feel about it.

-1 for extra food waste.  Despite sharing my share with another person, I really did end up with extra food waste over the course of the summer.  I'm the type of person who eats the same thing every day, and making several meals a week is just not how I operate.  Because of that, I would often use up one of the strange new ingredients I'd get, and let the other one rot.  I feel terrible about this, but really don't know what's to be done about it.

+1 for learning how to cook new things.  Yes, having a farm share did force me to expand my repertoire, and I'm really happy about that.  Admittedly, I did not end up eating that kohlrabi, I just stared at it until it rotted, but I feel less intimidated by kohlrabi now and regard it as a friend (that I would like to eat).

+1 for eating local.  All the food from my farm share came from Rehoboth, MA, which is 13 miles from my house.  That's pretty awesome.

-1 for sharing drawbacks.  I'm very very glad that I shared my share with another person because it would have been waaaaaaaaay too much for just me.  However, because I shared, it meant that I would frequently wind up with very little of something, and it would almost seem too much work to prepare it.  I mean, who wants to turn on the oven to roast just half a bunch of turnips.  So, I should have been more creative, but trying more than one new recipe a week is just too much for me.  I'm fragile, people.

-/+1 for value overall.  I cannot really decide if doing this farm share was actually a good value.  I missed two week's worth of deliveries while I was on vacation, and while I was away, there was a freak hailstorm that damaged many of the crops and structures on the farm.  Because of that, shares have been significantly lighter, which is obviously not the farmer's fault.
The hail that hit the farm--from their facebook page
So I go back and forth.  Yes, it was rather expensive, but I learned a lot and tried many new things.  But if I hadn't done this, I would have saved money and wasted less food, but then I would still be scared of bok choy.  Actually, now that the vegetables are shifting to the fall variety--i.e. tomatoes, squash, zucchini, I'm starting to think I should keep it up.  I love root vegetables, people.  But if I did that, it would be another $200.  Would I spend that much if I actually went to the store and bought my veg there? Or is it less about the money and more about supporting a local farm?  Gah!  It's too hard!  Just tell me what to do, internet!

-/+1 For realizing how superficial I am when it comes to vegetables.  I read a book a while back about food waste, and the author talked about how people are really concerned with how their produce looks and stuff that looks slightly weird often gets thrown away.  I read this and though, what's wrong people, didn't you read that Berenstein Bears book where they show that the weird-looking apple is better on the inside?  Except I am the same way, apparently.  The broccoli I got from the farm looked different than the broccoli I get in stores, and that scared me, even though broccoli is one of my favorite foods!  Vegetables straight from the farm can look kind of strange, y'all, and apparently I am a bit shallow.
This is one of the results when you google image search
"strange vegetable"
-1 for lack of eggs.  One of the things I was most excited about, was eating farm-fresh eggs all summer, but they were only available for purchase one time when I went to my pickup place.  A friend who has a co-worker with chickens said that his chickens haven't been laying much this summer, so maybe that's it, but I have a hunch that since the food gets dropped off at 3pm, and I can't make it until after 6pm, someone is buying up all the eggs.  Harrumph.

Overall, I'm glad I did it because I would have continued to wonder otherwise.  There is something nice about going to get groceries and not have to pay for them (because I paid upfront), but I just don't know if this system is for me.  Perhaps next year, I'll just grab something new each time I go to the farmer's market--or every other time.

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