Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Veggiepolooza!


I signed up for a CSA this year.  It’s something I had been thinking about for a while but the large lump sum payment they require upfront always left me a little gun shy.

It is a bit of an investment, isn’t it? And a bit of a gamble too. Although, wait, that’s redundant isn’t it? Investment implies risk. Right?

goodies from week one
Anyway.

What I’m saying is that it is easy to get put off by the idea of a CSA. You have to plunk down what can sometimes be upwards of $500 and you’re not guaranteed a thing. What if it doesn’t rain enough? What if it rains too much? What if these hippies are just really bad farmers?!

I know, I know, it’s hard to trust people sometimes. But if you open your heart to the possibilities life wants to offer you may just fall in love with a Japanese salad turnip.

Seriously though, they’re really freaking good. Have you had one of these things? I got a bunch in my first box from my CSA with Golden Earthworm Organic Farm. They’re delightful.

I’m only two weeks into my first ever CSA so it may be a bit early to be evangelizing but I really do feel like standing on a street corner. If only I could find my soap box. I know I left it around here somewhere…
week two loot


Every Tuesday is like Christmas. I go to my pick-up site with my reusable shopping bag and I fill it up with goodies.


One of the things that has struck me the most is the dirt. The produce we get at the supermarket is so polished and pristine it’s easy to forget that it came from the ground. Shoppers today want perfect food. If there is a bit of dirt, or if the tomato isn’t perfectly round or that perfect shade of red, it doesn’t get sold. This may sound weird but there’s something kind of comforting about finding a dusting of dirt on my Swiss chard.

Swiss chard and collards 
Signing up for a CSA is also a great way to lose weight. You want to get healthy you need to eat healthy; which means veggies, veggies veggies! Sure, you can go to Costco and get 47 lbs of frozen vegetables for less money but then those vegetables will probably wind up stuffed in the back of your freezer for four weeks before you decide to defrost a scoop to go with your bacon cheeseburger. CSA vegetables won’t keep so you are forced to eat lots of veggies right now. And once you finish them well it’s time to go get your next box! VEGGIES FOREVER!

I am having so much fun with my CSA so far. Opening a box and pulling out something I’ve never cooked with, possibly never even eaten before, pushes me out of my comfort zone a little bit and forces me to explore and be creative. I doubt that I would have ever purchased rhubarb at a supermarket. Or butter lettuce. Isn’t lettuce just lettuce? No, not it is not.

my too much sugar and not enough time rhubarb oat bars
Rhubarb is something I’d only ever heard of on TV. It is a perplexing pink stalk that apparently makes good pie. I split my share with my cousin so I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough rhubarb for pie but I found this recipe online and made some pretty tasty treats (though, if I were ever to make it again I would cut the sugar in half. And I would cook down the syrup a lot more than I did. Impatience has no place in baking, young grasshopper. My bars never quite solidified, but they were yummy).

garlic scapes, just minutes before I murdered them

The thing I was most excited about from week two were garlic scapes. They’re the tops of the garlic clove. Who knew garlic had tops? My farm’s web sites has lots of recipes for their crops and I found a simple one for roasted garlic scapes. Which sounded like heaven since roasted garlic is one of my favorite things on earth. I should have checked on them while roasting though because 30 mins at 425 turned out to be way too long and I wound up with mostly burned scapes. I’m still in mourning and am hoping I find the strength to move on. “Sorry, I can’t come into work today, I burned the garlic scapes and I need time to heal.” Any chance that’ll fly with my supervisor?

But today is Tuesday. And that means that I get to open a new box and it’s Christmas all over again!


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