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Eating like a horse


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

We get our first basket from our CSA this Thursday. That means a lot more vegetables will be coming into my house, and will continue to come into my house throughout the winter. For those who don't know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a system that pays local farmers up front and spreads the gamble of farming over a larger group of people. If it's a poor year with flooding or drought, then as a member of the CSA you shoulder part of the burden. If it's a year of abundance, then you get to share in that abundance. If you are in favor of keeping small family farms in business--and I am--then a CSA is the most proactive way you can put your dollars toward that goal.

It also means that you get a share of whatever is harvested that week, whether it's something you would normally buy or not. I'm really excited about this. I am terrible about planning recipes, but I'm quite good at spontaneous cooking. Spontaneous cooking, however, means using the ingredients on hand, and the farm share means that I will have lots more veggies on hand when I wander into the kitchen and say, "Now what shall I make for dinner?"

And they will be different veggies than I buy when I'm auto-shopping my way through the grocery store. It's easy to fall into habits, and eat the same thing all the time. The CSA is great at presenting me with produce I have to say, "now what do I do with this?" Like beets. I don't really care that much for them, but Ferrett likes them. Left to my own devices, I won't buy them. But if they arrive in the farm share, then I'd better figure out something to do with them.

It's not cheap, but I think it's one of the best ways to support the local economy and get more variety into your diet. If you are interested in finding out about CSAs in your area, you can find a lot of information at this website:

www.localharvest.org/csa
/


This is what I'm getting in this week's share:

1 Whole Chicken, approx 5 lbs
2# bag fingerling potatoes
1 bulb garlic
1 candy onion
1 bunch swiss chard
1 bag mixed baby lettuce, 0.5 lbs
1 bunch beets with tops
1 bunch celery
1 bag purple filet beans
1 head broccoli
1 quart baby sweet peppers
1 bunch carrots with tops
1 dozen eggs
1 quarter peck gala apples
4 oz pumpkin quark (a spreadable cream cheese)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
JANETRIS 11/8/2013 9:08PM

    That sounds so wonderful and healthy! Enjoy emoticon

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MANDYLOVE_76 11/7/2013 10:10AM

    That's totally cool.

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MSANITAL 11/7/2013 7:53AM

    wow that sounds so good.. all that fresh food in your basket.. I am sure you will make some wonderful meals.. as for the beets. OMG I love beats.. I just boil them and when they are cool to the touch peel them slice them and drizzle ever so little EVO on them sprinkle a tsp of minced garlic and toss.. lets sit for a bit then enjoy.. and the left overs ok I am going to be bad.. I make a sandwhich between two pieces of Italian Bread.. that is bad skip that but it is so yummy..

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LUCKYDOGFARM 11/6/2013 10:11PM

    Nice! Enjoy the fresh food!


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TATTER3 11/6/2013 4:49PM

    Wow!!!

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KNYAGENYA 11/6/2013 9:31AM

    Sounds great!

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SOFTLYOPTIMIST 11/5/2013 9:51PM

    What a great scheme! It also makes a closer relationship between the farmer and consumer, and for families with children using it, it teaches about the seasons and the realities of the hard work that goes into producing the food we buy. Brilliant!

I plan to start buying a veg and fruit box each week, to ensure we get the five a day, I am excited about it for similar reasons to you - your enthusiasm for using this scheme really comes through!
emoticon

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MANDIETERRIER1 11/5/2013 9:25PM

    We don't have a CSA sounds interesting

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/5/2013 7:13PM

    Your CSA has quite an extensive offering! I've belonged to two different CSA's in two different states where I lived. Each one was quite different. It is so much fun to open the basket/box/bag each week and discover what is inside. It will be a lot of fun!

I had the same problem with beets. I've tried roasting them...which wasn't really enough to make me like them. Not I have beets every day in my homemade veggie juices, but I only put about a quarter beet in each glass of juice. Anymore than that, and the taste is overpowering to me.

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DOGLADY13 11/5/2013 5:45PM

    I did a CSA for a couple of years but I just could not keep up with the produce. It was too much.

Re beets. I love them! Trim off the tops, wash and roast in their skins. Once cooked through, let them cool. The skins will slip right off.

Dice and put in salads.
Heat and eat with butter, salt and pepper.
Heat and add some sugar and vinegar for sweet and sour.
Pickle with hard boiled eggs.
Dice and toss with cashews, goat cheese and a light vinaigrette.
Borscht. (I'm a Polish girl.)

OK. I'll stop now.

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LISASGONNADOIT 11/5/2013 1:03PM

    Sounds wonderful!!!

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HILLSLUG98239 11/5/2013 11:40AM

    We were part of a CSA for several years. Our farmer even set up a winter CSA. He described it as a disaster the first year, but also as a great learning experience. I really appreciated his weekly emails describing what was going on at the farm. We have extreme cold and extreme heat here, so farming is an adventure. (On the plus side, our irrigation comes out of the mighty Columbia River, thanks to the federal government. In a brush steppe with 8" of precipitation a year, that water makes the desert bloom.)

This summer, our farmer changed it up a bit: instead of getting a box of stuff, members ordered what they wanted from his on-line store and picked it up at the farmers' market. We didn't participate this year because our own garden produced a lot the last two years. I kind of miss the box, though. It got us to eat things we would have never purchased. For instance, thanks to Alan, I grow kohlrabi every spring. I never would have bought kohlrabi, so if he hadn't put it in the box I never would have known how much I liked it!

The CSA also weaned us off of buying whatever produce we wanted, regardless of season. We still buy out-of-season produce occasionally, but it's pretty rare. The Hubs has even foregone his beloved asparagus to await the first crop from the Inland Northwest. I only buy grapes in the fall now. (The one thing I won't give up is bananas.)

Enjoy!

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NATPLUMMER 11/5/2013 10:48AM

    Nice! I'll have to check it out.

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RICHILA 11/5/2013 10:38AM

    emoticon You will have lots of healthy food to cook!

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