While I’m not new to the world of blogging, I am new to the world of CSA – community supported agriculture. And to cooking. So I thought I might not be the only one venturing into the world of subscribing to a local farm and paying a family to raise my produce. I met this family through my job and I was impressed by a couple of things. The first thing was that they let their story and their produce sell itself. No bashing “Big Ag,” no whining about pesticides and herbicides, no need to slam any other styles of food production. They have a healthy CSA membership and they sell at a local farmers market. They don’t need more and they don’t want more. They and their story just impressed me. So I decided to sign up and give this CSA thing a try. I got in on the second week of the subscription. I picked up my box on Monday night and I was shocked – and overwhelmed. The last time I saw that much produce concentrated in one place was when my dad had about an acre of garden at a friend’s mother’s place in my hometown.
But back to my box. That first box, now about three weeks ago. My first box was radishes, lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, asparagus eggs, strawberries and garlic scapes. I’d never tried garlic scapes but the farm wife of my CSA gave me some ideas. I added them to the 3-minute Chinese noodle packs and they were awesome, gave some freshness, spice and crunch to the dish!
I guess I’m kind of a weird vegetable eater. My dad and my grandfather before him were devoted and prolific gardeners. They could grow anything anywhere and they did. My grandfather fed a family of six kids and my grandma on his gardening during the Great Depression and some very hard times. My dad had a good job but his relaxation was gardening and I’ve been eating vegetables of each and every kind since I was able to chew solid food. My mom cooked them, we ate them, no questions asked. That’s how I got to love radishes with salt, beets served any way, tomatoes fresh from the garden and canned in chili and soups, slices of fresh raw kohlrabi with a sprinkle of salt, shared with my dad. But I just love all kinds of vegetables.
My mom was a gifted cook and baker. Me? Not so much. My specialty is heating up a Healthy Choice and then adorning it with some olives and feta from the local grocery. Or microwave popcorn.
But when I got that first box, I realized, as I unpacked the box and my mind whirled with – what am I going to DO with all of this??? – thoughts, I realized I would definitely need to make some plans. But what plans, I had no idea.