CSA Season Has Begun!
Oh, man, did we ever pick the right week. Here's why:
What an amazing batch of strawberries this year! The following picture offers another, more voluminous perspective. We devoured those strawberries. Just straight out of the containers, no mixing with rhubarb for a crisp, these were far too good for anything but popping immediately into our mouths.
I've been told that the previous week's box only contained one carton of strawberries and who knows what will be available next week. See what I mean about picking the right week.
Down with the Brown!
This Sunday is their annual Strawberry Day. CSA members can pick and eat as many strawberries as they can handle and in addition to that, they can take home four cartons for free. For FREE!! But, alas, we are not going this year. We haven't been to our trailer in months, so the Big D has chosen that for his first 'Father's Day' day.
Because we opted for the "brown week" we missed out on the ramps. Spring came super early this year and by the time we got our first box, the ramp season was done. Normally I would have just gone and harvested some on my own near our property in Wisconsin, but the possibility of wood ticks and mosquitoes finding their way onto my baby's sweet baby skin was enough to make me forgo ramps for this year.
The first box (which was technically the second week of the CSA) was full of sorrel, yukina savoy and other stuff. The sorrel stands out to me because I made a sorrel sauce for some fish that week. The yukina savoy stands out for another entirely different reason. I made the creamed greens featured on Kat's site A Good Appetite. The interesting thing is that when I searched for yukina savoy, nearly all the references that came up were from Minnesota and Wisconsin because of Kat and Harmony Valley Farms, with many other blogs referring back to Kat and HVF.
I bring this up because I don't know how the heck to write about the CSA this year. Clearly there are some very good blogs out there talking about their Farmer's Market and CSA experiences. Because of baby I don't have the time to chronicle how I cook up my fabulous organic vegetables that come to me every other week straight from the farm.
This year is also very different for me than the previous four years. I have finally become comfortable with the abundance and variety. I have finally found several ways to cook the vegetables that can simply come together on any given night for a meal. And, yet, many of these ways to cook are not elaborate procedures, just tried and true methods for preparing vegetables quickly with consistently yummy results. What I meant to say is that I've learned a lot over the years and no longer struggle on a weekly basis to incorporate all this goodness into our diet.
So, this CSA season is going to be about finding alternative ways to talk about the experience. I will try to share the ways that the CSA enriches my overall life beyond just my time spent in the kitchen. Otherwise I'm just reproducing what others do so fabulously on other sites.
This year I am making a point to walk to the CSA delivery site in my neighborhood. It feels good to get this exercise, not to mention how fitting it is to walk rather than drive to pick up a CSA share. Better for me and better for the environment.
The Big D and I used to do this occasionally, but it is so much easier with the Baby Lotus Bud as her stroller has a wonderfully large basket to haul things. Later during the peak season the CSA boxes are heavy when filled with potatoes and melons and such. This basket will come in handy at that time.
I find that I love taking pictures of the vegetables. I used these garlic scapes in a Sesame Soy Braised Bok Choi recipe. It was yummy but a little salty.
I worried that I might not be able to finish a whole CSA share on my own, even with the fact that we pick up every other week. I have always shared with another couple, first a neighbor, then my parents. So far so good, this year. In fact, I find that I finish the box rather quickly, giving me a chance to visit the local farmer's market on the off week. That might change real soon, as we get closer to the peak season. This is such a different experience from last year when I was pregnant and found myself composting much of the share box.
I cannot wait until the Baby Lotus Bud is six months old and ready to eat solids. She's got so much goodness coming to her! I hope she likes parsnips! I still can't stand them and it would be good if she gobbled them right up!