One of the super-cool benefits of working at 37signals is a membership in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We get fresh fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market or delivered to our doors, which encourages us and our families to cook and eat healthier — and the brain food helps us stay at the top of our mental game too!
It also feels great to support local farmers. We’re spread out all over the place, so the contents of our CSA boxes reflect what’s local and in season where we live.
Clockwise from top left: A recent delivery from Greenling in Austin, Texas; Javan’s Romanesco broccoli from Sunseed Farm in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Eron’s winter veggies from Coon Rock Farm in Hillsborough, North Carolina; and Ann’s fan dance with lettuce from Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks in Chicago.
My favorite part of belonging to a CSA is the surprise that comes with opening a new box and seeing what’s new — it’s turned me into a more adventurous cook.
A few of my CSA-based creations: grapefruit-avocado salad, sesame broccoli with peanut sauce, Swiss chard frittata and an avocado-orange smoothie.
Soup is perfect for using up a bunch of perishables all at once!
Shaun’s vegetarian chili, and Will’s wife’s veggie-and-ham soup
Kristin made a pie with apples from her CSA last fall, and I made a sweet potato meringue pie with mine.
Hey, it doesn’t have to be 100% healthy all the time, right?
Michael, 37signals’ resident foodie and showoff, whips up amazing creations with his CSA goodies from Irv & Shelly — I’m considering moving to Chicago so he’ll feed me more often.
Michael’s masterpieces, clockwise from top left: red quinoa with roasted cauliflower, dried cranberries, and toasted pine nuts; spinach tomato scramble with Sunday bacon; parsnip and potato latkes; mushroom ginger soup with hato mugi; squash and chickpea Moroccan stew with hand-rolled couscous; and poached eggs with sautéed spinach, toasted pecans, and parmesan.
If you’re interested in CSAs in your area, check out localharvest.org. Bon appetit!
Michaelon 03 Apr 12
That’s a good employee benefit; good idea. Do any of you Chicago area people use Angelic Organics? (This guy. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/realdirt/ He used to be my neighbor.)
Patrickon 03 Apr 12
What are the environmental ramifications of having a boxes of food delivered door-to-door? Supporting local growers is fine but what about the extra expenditure of fuel to make this “feel good” process work?
Michaelon 03 Apr 12
Patrick, it’s less fuel than buying from the grocery store. Less to deliver and way less to grow.
Taylor Brookson 03 Apr 12
This is the best “Why You Should Work at 37Signals” post I’ve ever read.
Darylon 03 Apr 12
The food looks delicious. Any links to recipes?
MBon 03 Apr 12
@Daryl Here are links for my dishes which came from recipes.
Mushroom Ginger Soup with Barley – modified this one to be gluten free by replacing the barley with hato mugi (via mycookingdiary.com)
Squash and Chickpea Moroccan stew (via smitten kitchen)
Parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill (via smitten kitchen)
Ryanon 03 Apr 12
Patrick, My understanding (as a brief CSA customer) is that door-to-door delivery has several potential energy offsets and mitigations:
-Reducing consumer auto trips to the store.
-Reducing the likelihood of people buying food transported from far away (since the CSA goods are local or regional).
-Reducing wasted energy from spoke-and-hub distribution (truck goes past many customer homes to drop off food at store).
-Savings from geographic batching of customers. CSAs attempt to cluster customers in particular neighborhoods by, for example, doing door-to-door canvassing. I tried a CSA when someone came to our door after one of our neighbors signed up.
Of course, whether you personally will net reduce energy consumption by signing up for a CSA is uncertain. One of the reasons I cancelled mine is I happen to live near an amazing produce-oriented grocery store that buys from local/regional farmers. I often walk to the store, so trucking food to my house was probably a net increase in carbon use (though maybe not if you consider one of my neighbors is a customer).
Antoineon 03 Apr 12
This food looks so good. Please share the recipes..!!!
Emilyon 04 Apr 12
@Daryl and @Antoine: I tend to cook with whatever is around, so recipes aren’t really my thing — I’m sorry! But if I remember correctly that pie was from a Paula Deen recipe (read: enough butter and sugar to cancel out any health benefits from the sweet potatoes and eggs).
Marco Ron 04 Apr 12
I’m tempted to register 37recipes.com just in case!
Jameyon 04 Apr 12
Wholly mother of colorful! Looks like awesome. In a dish/box/pot/pan.
J A Ginsburgon 04 Apr 12
Good gravy, you all eat well!
For the folks in Chicago (and inspiration beyond), I want to give a little shout out to my friend LaManda Joy’s Peterson Garden Project, which this year will be expanded with “pop up Victory Gardens” all over the city. Here’s the new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CUXRVCWbJA and the Peterson Garden’s newly updated website: http://www.petersongarden.org/
Let there be lettuce!
balsamiqValon 06 Apr 12
Emily, I, too, get CSA boxes and adore the service. Thanks for sharing your recipes and inspiring others to support organic/local/fresh.
Farsi dictionaryon 07 Apr 12
That’s awesome, go green.
Erinon 09 Apr 12
What an awesome benefit! My husband and I love participating in CSAs, though we find it hard to use up a full share with just the two of us and have struggled to find a good half share supplier in our new city. My favorite part is the unexpectedness having a box of random vegetables adds to each week. It forces us to be spontaneous and creative. We’ve tried foods and discovered recipes we’d never have encountered had we stuck to the supermarket. There’s something really neat about meeting the people who grow your food and supporting them directly, too.
Kasion 09 Apr 12
That is awesome! My husband and I are seriously thinking about doing a CSA for ourselves. It’s such a nice benefit to have that at work!
Anonymous Cowardon 09 Apr 12
First World Cuisine Problems.
This discussion is closed.