Last summer, I signed up for a CSA from Oxbow Farm in Carnation, Washington. It brought things I’ve never seen in a CSA: fava beans, rhubarb, fresh coriander seed, radicchio. Suddenly, I realized what the fuss was about. Every other CSA I’ve gotten always bragged that it would give you access to “veggies you’ve never even heard of.” Not to brag myself, but I’ve been eating kale for a decade, people, way before it was cool. I don’t need a CSA to teach me the ways of the butternut or collard. But this CSA, this quintessentially Northwest box that might include sour cherries one week, dragon tongue beans the next, gave me many new cooking projects for my money. Of course, there was the normal glut of summer squash and cucumbers, which is great when they first show up on Week 4 and totally maddening and soul-crushing by Week 12, but no CSA is perfect.

I was preparing to mourn the loss of this season’s Northwest bounty because of my impending move, but received an email last week informing me that crops were growing and I could have an early-season box by next Friday. Rhubarb, chard, little potatoes, shallots and chives, (which will be given away, due to my hatred of anything onion-y). I couldn’t believe I could have rhubarb already. I thought of jam and pie and coffee cake. I thought of tiny summer strawberries and tender asparagus. Not long now.

Maybe it will motivate me to plant some more seeds. I should probably never have stopped.

I am so grateful that spring comes earlier here. Even more because it will be my last early spring, at least for a while, and I’m happy to have a few more CSA boxes before I leave. I’d like to think I’ll be back someday. At least for a while.

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