Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Community Supported Agriculture

We belong to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, not "Confederate States of America" as my brother first thought) and every Saturday pick up bags of fresh vegetables from inside a local pre-school. These are just a few of last week's offerings, as we split the share with another couple—they got the snap peas, other radishes, half the strawberries (no photo, we ate them too fast), lacinato kale, and some other things I don't remember. The bottom odd tangle of shoots are garlic scapes. A fleeting shoot from garlic, plucked before it blossoms, that is like a cross between green onions and garlic but wholly different. Less golden tasting than full garlic, more sprightly and green and... I'm out of words.

I made a white bean dip with a few, with fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper, all puréed. At first it felt so mild that we didn't understand what the big deal about garlic scapes was. But after each bit of baguette smeared with the stuff, it started getting more and more special—it built on itself somehow. Until by the end it was the best white bean dip I've ever had. Then I made garlic scape pesto, which is so different from regular garlicky pesto. We are still eating it.

One thing that feels very odd about the CSA is that it is only very educated and decently well off people who are able to take advantage of it. Six months worth of unbelievably fresh organic produce while supporting a local farm, but with a hefty up-front fee. It comes out to be a fair deal over the long run (especially for organic), but how many people have $250 to fork up at one time for half a share? Only the privileged. It feels odd, to be on line with your reusable grocery bags with other members of the privileged mostly-white-but-with-a-few-asians-like-me  kind of class, in an almost entirely Caribbean neighborhood with people struggling to make their rent. While I google recipes for garlic scape and almond pesto.

Living in NYC is such a tangle of roots and new shoots, of emotions and growth. It's so complicated.

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