Friday, July 13, 2012

CSA! Community Supported Agriculture

If you don't know what CSAs are or want to know more, Local Harvest can tell you more about it here.

I recently joined a CSA and couldn't be more excited.  My mom started the family eating CSA produce at some point in my college career, so I only got to enjoy the perks now and then.  The first summer that I was home with my parents and ate virtually nothing but the CSA's fruits and veggies was wonderful.  I loved it and the new recipes my mom was testing.  Let's be honest, who wants to eat the same 10 meals on repeat for 20 years? It was time for a change.  Mom wanted to be healthier and found  a way to try.  I didn't think anything much of the high quality of the food until I got back to school.  I grabbed a tomato, bit in, and promptly pulled it back out of my mouth.  'Geez! What's IN that thing?  Is that really what a pumped-up, run of the mill, grocery store tomato tastes like?? YUCK!'  And so began my love affair with yummy fruits and veggies.

I try to buy local when possible, and organic if at all possible and affordable.  I've put off joining a CSA here for the past two years for several reasons.  1) I don't have the money. 2) I can't eat that many fruits and veggies before they spoil. 3) I don't have time to cook that much. 4) I work too much and often eat on the road.  Excuses, excuses.  1) It's actually less expensive to get my veggies from a CSA. 2) I found one that has less than a family of 6 portion...and have friends willing to "help me out" by taking some extra produce off my hands if need be.  3) If you read my blog, you know that I'm learning to enjoy cooking.  It doesn't take that much time to cook, it's healthier and cheaper than eating out, and I find it therapeutic. 4) New job.

I got my first week's worth of produce today because my CSA's farmer was gracious enough to allow me to join mid-season. I'm already such a happy camper!  Here's what I made with some of my produce:
Roasted white eggplant, zucchini, onions, and bell peppers.
Assorted tomatoes.
Assorted flowers...2 bouquets worth. Bonus for the week!
(My vases are still in storage.)

This is guacamole.  I'm not so sure why it isn't super green, but it's tasty.
Combination of CSA and my friend T's garden.

And, recipes:

Guacamole: 

  • 1-2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (omitted because I'm out)
  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
Roasted Veggies: 
Cookie sheet, Parchment paper/ aluminum foil, 400*, 25-30 minutes....just added a dollop of olive oil, freshly ground pepper thoroughly over sheet, threw on some chopped onion for flavoring, and a hint of fresh garlic.

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