In principle, Community Supported Agriculture is a beautiful idea: You sign up for a season of farm-fresh produce that benefits you and your local farmer. In reality, it’s daunting to get a weekly box of strange veggies like kohlrabi or tons of familiar ones like three pounds of zucchini. What do you do with all that squash?
Kelly Geary, the woman behind the ingenious company Sweet Deliverance NYC, would know. The former chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns realized she could make CSAs easy by taking out the guesswork and the cooking. That zucchini, for instance, could go in cheddar biscuits, or in “meatballs” with a creamy, Indian-style sauce–two options on the menu she gave her customers last week. They choose how they want their weekly share cooked (and whether they want to add treats like farmstead cheese from Saxelby Cheesemongers to their delivery), and Geary whips it up in a wind-powered commercial kitchen in Bed-Stuy, then delivers the makings for six to eight meals each to customers everywhere from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side. She also caters lunches for offices around Brooklyn and does private dinners.
Getting home-cooked, organic, farm-fresh food isn’t cheap (it’s $250 a week). But Geary isn’t trying to fleece anyone–in fact, she may have the most altruistic business plan around. “The whole idea behind a CSA,” she says, “is the community coming together and realizing where their food comes from. So hopefully a few of my clients will reach a point where they’ll pick up a CSA share themselves, and form a relationship with their local farmer.”
You can also get a taste of Sweet Deliverance by sampling one of Geary’s award-winning chutneys and jams, available at spots like Marlow & Daughters, Brooklyn Victory Garden and Provisions, or trying this delicious sweet tea recipe she devised for BB readers. The blueberry-lemongrass syrup gives it a fruity kick and a gorgeous, amethyst color. We’re still experimenting with it in cocktails. Let us know if you come up with a good one.
In a saucepan, combine a pint of blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, and 2-3 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed and bruised with the back edge of a knife to release their essence. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until it forms a syrupy compote. Strain through a sieve for about 3/4 cup of syrup, enough to flavor one pitcher of black tea, steeped on the stove or in the sun.
To contact Kelly, visit sweetdeliverancenyc.com.