Dinky Manor

Community Sponsored Agriculture For Dummies (Yes, That’s Me).

Ugh. I’ve reached a new height of stupidity. My local grade school has a weekly CSA farm box program that I’ve been wanting to join for the past two years. I mean what could be better? I get a box of organic produce, support local farmers, and support my local public school. There is no downside.

I’ve put off joining the program for years because the school is two miles up a very steep hill. In a universe where I have my act together, I would make time every Thursday to walk up the hill and turn the errand into a work-out. In real life, I kind of dread sweating this much for groceries. Of course, I could drive up the hill, but getting into my car for such a short distance makes me feel like a jerk. Because, hello. It would only take me 40 minutes total to do this on foot and waste no gasoline.

It took me until last week to realize that my friend Jane DRIVES BY MY HOUSE every day to get her kids from said school. She also picks up a farm box every Thursday. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out that I could carpool with her. Duh. At any rate, we are both pleased that we’ve turn an errand into a weekly play date for ourselves.

I picked up my first farm box today. The school has it all figured out.The $23 boxes are smaller than other CSA boxes I’ve looked at, which is actually a good thing considering I’m generally just cooking for two people. The waxed cardboard boxes are even reused week after week, so there’s pretty much no package waste.

The other local CSA near me is amazing and has much fancier produce for $44 for per box. But $44 is beyond my weekly food budget, even for organic produce. $23 is even less than I spend at the farmer’s market each week for organic produce, so I’m actually saving money by buying through the school. Although I don’t have a choice of what shows up in the school farm box on a week to week basis, it will force me to be more thoughtful about my cooking this year which is one of my New Year’s Resolutions.

This week’s box includes two bunches of curly kale, one bunch of red chard, two brown onions, one butternut squash, three Pink Lady apples, three kiwi fruits, five tangerines, and sixteen small white potatoes.

Pinky immediately made himself a kale salad for lunch.


  1. Posted January 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


    I am the same way. A year after I learn of something, a very simple solution that was there all along suddenly appears to me.

    That is a fabulous haul for $23. One of my favorite little restaurants here is the home to my favorite kale salad. Which I always get when I am there. And a few weeks ago they printed the recipe in the newspaper! Yay!! Basically, it’s soy or Bragg’s, a little garlic, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, ACV and olive oil. Kind of a teriyaki.

  2. Posted February 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    My child goes to Citizen of the World Silver Lake/ Echo Park. We just started a CSA pick-up program too. The produce is much better quality than some other CSAs (forgot the name, but people accost you at Costco parking lots to sign up and you do, only to realize the produce is myeh). But L.A. has so many great farmer’s markets. I’m on the fence about committing to a weekly thing, but it’s a great thing to have more and easier acces to fresh produce without a lot of landfill-destined packaging clutter.

  3. Posted February 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Figueroa Produce in Highland Park can also order you a CSA farm box. That’s a great little store if you’ve never been. They’ve got raw milk, grass fed beef, everything for less money than Whole Foods.

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