For years I’d wanted to stop eating meat, but my stomach always found a way to convince my brain that I couldn’t live without barbecue or turkey sandwiches. Despite going through a period where I didn’t eat beef, I just kept coming up with excuses not to go vegetarian.

Until one week this August when I realized that, without even trying, I hadn’t eaten any meat for three days. I figured then was as good a time as any, and I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian ever since (lacto-ovo meaning I consume egg and dairy products).

But I’ve come to realize that despite not eating meat products, I’m still not doing the planet any favors by buying my vegetables at the grocery store, where they travel hundreds of diesel-burning miles to get there. So today I signed up for my very first CSA (community supported agriculture) program! Not only will I be getting organically grown vegetables with no genetic modification (and minimal pesticides), I’ll be supporting local farmers, too.

I’ve got a couple of weeks before my first shipment comes, which I’m going to use to scour the Internet for good winter vegetable recipes and make plenty of room in my kitchen for the canned tomatoes, green beans and fresh pasta that I can’t wait to get my hands on.