Awaiting the first box...

Here's what is on the Harmony Valley website. It's their best guess as to what will be harvested this week:

Sweet Overwintered Parsnips
Red Sunchokes
Ramps
Sorrel
Overwintered Spinach
Rhubarb
Burdock
Chives
Black Radish
Willow or Dogwood

This is typical for the first box. And I look forward to it with anticipation, but also with a little bit of trepidation.

I've learned that the CSA forces me to develop new relationships with vegetables that I previously didn't like or had never tried. Most of the time I found that I liked them, the ones that I hadn't liked before were of bad quality and not fresh. Fresh vegetables are hard to not like. And if I'm diligent about finding and trying new recipes, there's not much that doesn't taste good coming from the farm.

But, parsnips are a different matter. I don't like parsnips. I don't like the taste of them, even if there are fresh from the farm. So, one year I tried just throwing them in with other vegetable scraps to make a vegetable stock. The smell of the boiling parsnips sent me out of the house. It smelled so foul. I hate saying that, but it's true. Every year, for three years I have tried to enjoy parsnips.

This year, I'm going to give it another try because the new chef (Bri) at the farm says that the parsnips are a delight to work with. I guess I'll look over the newsletter and if there is a good recipe, I'll give it a shot. But what I really want to do is dump the whole lot into the swap box. The "swap box" is the place to put vegetables that I won't use "so that others may enjoy them."

This reminds me that I really need to get a composting pile. I need to place to trash the vegetable that I don't use, or maybe just for the scraps.

I'm really looking forward to the sunchokes, the ramps, the spinach, the sorrel, the chives and the black radish. All good things containing everything needed to detox the liver and kidneys from the winter slump.

I haven't found a recipe for the burdock that I like. I have considered just slicing them, then roasting them in the oven, then storing them for tea which apparently is good for purifying the blood stream of toxins. Also, I read today that the prickly seeds of the burdock plant inspired the manufacturing of velcro. It reminds of what my neighbor was saying about biomimicry which is the concept that looking closer at how nature functions can lead to sustainable solutions to human problems.

Another tough one for me is rhubarb. I used to not like baked fruit at all. I disliked it so much that my husband wrote a song about it. I don't know why, maybe to just capture my angst towards fruit that is all hot ad mushy. But I have grown since then and am finding my way to the joys of baked fruit. Last year I did an apple/rhubarb crisp. The great thing about rhubarb is that it can be cut into little pieces then be thrown into the freezer, set aside to used for a crisp.

Ok, so now I know that I may be over my distaste for baked fruit. My mouth is watering thinking about all the rhubarb...and everything else, the sunchoke fries, the sour cream filled with chives, the spinach salad with ramp dressing, the crispy radish. Spring is such a great time to be alive and eating healthy!

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