I went to the grocery store today and it was boring. Same old, same old doesn’t begin to say it.
The fruits and vegetable aisle looks so inviting with its bright reds, greens, oranges and yellows. But once you start to walk down the aisle you will notice that there isn’t a lot of variety. Sure you can get carrots five different ways: organic, regular, mini-carrots, unpackaged with greens on, and topped and bagged (5 and 20 pound bags). And there is a small display of “tropical fruits”. But even that suffers from a steady diet of mangoes and passion fruit!
To be fair, I am a part of the problem. I zip right past the greens, opting for a bag of salad mix. And I can’t think when was the last time I bought an eggplant. I try to purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season but it’s hard when tomatoes and strawberries are there all year round.
There are more than 1097 vegetable species in the world. We are only familiar with about 7% of these. That’s 76 varieties of vegetables with which humans are familiar. And in the supermarkets? There are approximately 20 different types of vegetables on offer.
How can you expand your knowledge and help the world maintain and grow in biodiversity? One way is to visit local farms and shop at farm stands. Of course that’s not always easy. Here in Charlotte I am a lot farther from local farms and small markets than I was in Asheville. But that doesn’t mean fresh, local produce is out of reach.
Today I signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box from Bush-n-Vine Farm in South Carolina.
What’s a CSA?
Essentially a CSA Box is a prepaid share of the farm crop. Once a week a box of super fresh fruits and vegetables will be delivered to a Garden Center nearby for me to pick up. I know there will be old favorites and I suspect there will be some new things for me to work with.
You can find out more about CSA boxes and how to use them in this article I wrote for AVL Today a few years ago: 5 Tips on How to Use Your CSA Share
Interested in finding a farm selling CSA shares near you? Follow this link for Local Harvest
Let’s do this together. I will promise to try one vegetable that is outside my wheel house every week and share the results with you on my blog. In return, you can send me your new favorite finds and recipes. Let’s do this!