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Perking up your produce

Q. I want to eat more vegetables, but am sick of the same old broccoli and carrot concoctions. Is there an easy way to experiment with vegetables that I should know about?—Lulu, Oshkosh

A. Lulu, your question is a good one because we, too, get stuck in a rut and tend to purchase the same broccoli and carrots on a weekly basis. My suggestion is a simple answer to your question (at least for the summer months) and that is to consider purchasing a share of a CSA program, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Purchasing a CSA share helps local farmers determine how much to plant as well as providing them with consistent demand for their produce. For the consumer, we are treated to affordable, farm-fresh, locally-grown produce every week, and we often receive veggies we otherwise may not have purchased. We don’t know what we’ll get until we pick it up, which is half the fun! My wife and I participated in one for the first time this summer, and over the span of 14 weeks we received dozens of different varieties of vegetables including beans, beets, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, squashes and pumpkins, sweet corn, eggplant, bell peppers, snap peas, assorted potatoes, assorted onions and leeks, assorted hot peppers, pickles, tomatoes, kohlrabi, radishes and a variety of lettuces.  Participating in this program really encourages you to leave your comfort zone and explore many different types of veggies. I encourage you to try it!

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