Those d@mn beets are still haunting me


Farm share beets

I talked with a food writer for the Washington Post a few weeks ago. She was writing a wrap-up piece on her CSA experience and wanted input from others who had participated in a farm share. We talked for a good 20 minutes, all about my experience with Misty Meadows Farm. I described how it had changed my cooking style, helped me get more into rhythm with what nature is providing, made me more creative in menu planning. I talked about how much I loved the week I got tons of basil for pesto, how the sweet potatoes tasted unlike anything I’d ever bought from a store. I said receiving my share each week was like a cross between trick-or-treating and Christmas. And when she asked about the drawbacks, I made a joke about hating beets.

Never make a joke to a journalist.

Out of our entire conversation, she quoted me on hating beets, but eating them out of guilt (which seemed a lot funnier when I blogged about it this summer). She also used me as the poster child for waste. She had asked if I ever had to throw anything away, commiserating that it was hard to go through so much food in a week. I reluctantly admitted that some weeks I didn’t get to use everything, and felt really bad when I did — after all, when you know the people who grow your food it makes you look at waste differently. We try never to waste, I told her, but especially with our farm share. We went to great lengths to use things up, even cooking the beet greens. None of that made it into the article. From now on, I’m “Dana McMahan, a CSA member in Louisville who said ‘the guilt factor was pretty big.’ “(She was loose in her transcribing of my quote.)

I understand she needed to let readers know there are many factors to consider in committing to a CSA. I just wish that my 95% positive review of the experience hadn’t come through as a negative one. She also asked if I’d do it again next year. Since she didn’t quote me on that, I’ll quote myself.

Absolutely. I already miss my weekly share.


5 responses to “Those d@mn beets are still haunting me

  1. It’s not that she was dishonest, I just resent that the only small piece of my story told was picked to fit her agenda. I know that’s just how it works — I shouldn’t have been so naive as to think she would write about the positive side of my experience. That doesn’t sell papers.

  2. Dana–I happened to read that article in the Post and recognized your name from SlowTrav. I’m glad you set the record straight, ’cause the article did seem like you were sort of disillusioned with the CSA. Obviously, since the author herself doesn’t want to do CSAs again, she had to fit your opinion into her mindset.

  3. Hi Dana! I participated in a CSA this summer as well and am currently reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Kingsolver and like you I feel like I am just waking up! Where have I been to be eating asparagus 365 days a year. I also just got back from Europe and had the great opportunity to visit the amazing La Boquiera food market in Barcelona. I miss my weekly box so so so so so much and can’t wait to participate again next year. Since I do still eat meat, but am very selective about it, I take advantage of what Kathy and Ralph can provide and also want to mention that Adam Barr is doing a Meat CSA this winter for poultry and beef. The prices are very reasonable.

    Don’t feel too bad, I split my CSA with another friend and there were times when I couldn’t eat all the food. Especially the beets (one of the few foods I don’t care for) and all the chard. I love chard now and had never eaten it before, the only problem is that is wilts so quickly I have trouble eating it before this happens. I tried putting it (like celery) in a glass of water, hoping it would drink up, to no avail.

    We got through the unending days of chard with this simple preparation:
    chop chard (stems and all)
    melt 1tbsp butter and in it saute a little minced garlic (~1 clove) and then add some dried golden raisins, dried cherries, a sprinkle (1 tbsp) brown sugar and a couple dashes of curry powder. cook just 1-2 minutes until raisins start to rehydrate, then add the chard and saute until tender (about 10 minutes). This goes great with a tilapia filet (any hints on where to find that locally or at least in the usa?)

  4. reminds me of a recent episode of Desperate Housewives… reporters are always looking for the negative. That’s more interesting apparently.

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