It’s Week 17 of living the good life of Community Supported Agriculture, chronicled here in this Urbivore’s Dilemma series.


Plastic container with baking soda in itThis soda has been good for a lot more than baking. Photo: Jennifer PredigerIn 12 weeks I will be CSA share-less. Thinking ahead, I was already feeling tempted to eat to-go pizza every night until the CSA starts up again in summer. But thankfully, a fellow CSA member told me there’s a frozen-foods CSA share you can buy into for the winter. Hoorah! Frozen, delicious local vegetables.

Actually, will they be good?

Ah, it’s hard being so spoiled by fresh food. And yet I was separated again from my veggie box this week. After my trip home to be with my family, I found myself boarding an airplane three days later for a scheduled work trip to Seattle. Without time to go home in between, I had no vegetables to pack in my suitcase this time. So I don’t have much to say this week about the contents of my CSA — except that the apples do sometimes fall far from the tree: One from the CSA fruit share ended up in my backpack. I forgot it was there until in a fit of hunger on the plane, I debated spending $8 for some processed cheese and crackers, then rifled through my bag. And the apple kept the flight attendant with her credit-card machine at bay.

It was a little thing that made a big difference, much like a lot of the things I forgot to bring with me on this trip — such as toothpaste, a razor, a comb, and deodorant. In a desperate fit of necessary hygiene tool acquiring, I bought a comb at the airport. I decided I could live without shaving for a few days, but deodorant and toothpaste are non-negotiable.

This is when I remembered the travel-size shampoo bottle filled with baking soda in my suitcase. It was there for the DIY baking-soda-and-vinegar shampoo and conditioner I started using about 6 months ago. Somehow I got away with flying on an airplane with a bottle that looked like it might be filled with cocaine.

Thus began this week’s Baking Soda Experiment. It may not be baking soda from a CSA, but it is something you can eat. And I wanted to see how it would fare as a deodorant and a toothpaste for the few days I spent with work colleagues. I added a bit of water and made a paste for teeth and underarms. I spread some on the toothbrush and brushed, which made for a clean but salty aftertaste. Then I applied a bit of the paste on the old pits. And I have to say, it’s been a pretty good week. It’s hard to smell one’s own breath. But as far as I can tell, dental affairs were minty, rather, baking-soda-y clean. And no one told me I smelled like a zoo animal. And upon self-induced underarm inspection at the end of two long days, I can say with certainty that baking soda works better than even my special hippie crystal deodorant stick.

But will my new baking soda regimen stick?

Perhaps I’ll test the baking soda deodorant on a day of hard labor at the CSA’s annual pumpkin picking at Green Thumb Farm next week. I’ll meet the dirt and the farmer who’s been growing the goods. And I’ll find out how far one can go with pumpkins and soda.

Next week’s CSA installment promises the makings of salsa verde! Tomatillos, cilantro, and hot peppers accompanied by lettuce, summer squash, Swiss chard, string beans, and winter acorn squash. 

What are in your fall CSA shares, Readers? And will you do to keep your pantries stocked this winter and your bellies full of tasty local food?