Editor’s note: Yes, I’m behind with things (again). We had an unexpected trip come up last weekend, which means that by the time you read this, we’ll be just a few days away from receiving our third week of produce. Better late than never, right? 😛
Finally! I have been oh-so-patiently (ha!) waiting for this moment since last November.
This is our fifth season eating farm-fresh produce from Olden Produce (soon to be Olden Organics), and I think I enjoy this a little more each year. I thought I’d talk about why I like participating in a CSA, since I don’t know if I’ve ever said anything besides, “IT TASTES SO GOOD!”
- It’s good to know where your food comes from. I mean, I’m pretty sure that everyone knows that the grocery store shelves aren’t magically replenished by elves or something, but it’s still nice to remember how much work goes in to growing food.
- You’re supporting a local business, so more resources are going back into your community, which is always a good thing.
- It forces you to try something new. With a CSA, you get what you get, and it’s never the same. Each week is something different. Sometimes you get your favorite thing (Asparagus! Broccoli! Strawberries!), and sometimes, well, you get eggplant. Or fennel. Or kohlrabi. You have to make the best of it because no one likes to waste food. What can I say? I like a challenge.
- Finally (and, most importantly, in Andy’s mind): It really does taste SO good. There’s nothing like a fresh strawberry or tomato, and garden carrots have so much more flavor than their grocery-store counterparts. Honestly, once you have the real thing, you’re pretty much ruined for anything else. (Which is why I’m a sweet corn snob. Go ahead and thank my parents for that one.)
Besides, what’s not to love about this loot? Here’s the rundown for week 1:
- 1 quart of strawberries
- 1 pound of asparagus
- 1 pound of popcorn
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 bundle of rhubarb
- 1 head of Bib lettuce
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce
So, what did we do with all of this? Well, the strawberries were gone right away. There’s nothing like fresh strawberries in June. The popcorn is waiting for a lazy Sunday evening. (Still not sure when we’ll get one of those, but that’s neither here nor there. Popcorn keeps well in the pantry.) I roasted some of the asparagus, and the rest of it ended up in this pasta dish. The kale is still hanging out in a produce saver bag, just waiting for inspiration to strike. The rhubarb is waiting for the perfect dessert opportunity. So many options, so little time.
As far as the lettuce goes, we are embracing the “loaded salad” concept this summer. I fill our plates with lettuce and then pile on the toppings, which helps us stay on top of the lettuce situation. Two heads of lettuce a week is a lot for two people! For a salad to be satisfying enough for dinner, I think it needs the following components:
- Protein (hard-boiled eggs, grilled steak, grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, bacon)
- Cheese (feta, Parm, cheddar, blue)
- Something crunchy (croutons, slivered almonds)
- Something sweet (sliced strawberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries)
- Lots of veggies (peppers, onions, snap peas, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. This obviously changes based on what comes in our weekly share!)
So there you have it! Here’s to a summer full of delicious fruits and veggies.