Ever heard of Christmas in July?! Well I’ve been experiencing Christmas in July for the past two Mondays with my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) pick up! Also I am happy to report Kara and I indulged in an amazing CSA meal together, enjoying not only an array of perfectly ripe, organic, local veggies picked that morning, but had a fantastic time catching up on all our summer adventures! I know we posted about CSA’s back in April, but if we didn’t sell you then, here is more on what exactly a CSA entails.
For those of you not familiar with the specifics of CSA’s I’ll show what one week of a half share looks like and what you can do with it! If you remember from our earlier post, you have to pay upfront, as an investment in the farm, and then each week you get a tote full of veggies. This particular farm is all organic and ends up costing about $18 per week, for 15 weeks. I haven’t priced it specifically out, but I would be surprised if I could buy this many local, organic veggies at my food co-op or grocery store for under $20, making it a great deal in my mind, despite being a high upfront cost and investment.
So above is everything for one week. It ranges from typical things like cucumbers (they are sooo good!), tomatoes, squash, zucchini and kale to more unusual things like yellow plums and pattypan squash. This past Monday was so hot I didn’t want to turn the stove on. I decided to grill up corn, squash, a green pepper and a tomato. The great thing was the prep is pretty simple. Just wash the veggies, shuck the corn, cut tomato and pepper in half and squash into sticks. I drizzled a little olive oil over everything and a little salt/pepper. You will notice the difference in how delicious and flavorful produce like this is compared to what you generally buy at the grocery store which ripens after its picked. Another huge plus to grilling…very little to clean up!
Ok now I’m just bragging, but tell me these don’t look amazing?
Another thing I love about CSA’s from a cooking (and of course eating) standpoint is not having to go to the store and spend time deciding what veggies to buy and then taking the time to pick out the perfect ones. With the tote, your fridge is already full of lots of great produce. Tuesday night I wanted to make a stir fry (mostly inspired by the incredible broccoli). Again a very healthy and pretty simple meal with prep of washing and cutting veggies and cooking some delicious edamame and mung bean “pasta” that I was trying for the first time. It was high in protein (25g per 2 oz serving) and made the perfect pair for my soy sauce, dash of cayenne pepper, and cumin flavored, sauteed veggies 🙂 Unfortunately I ate it before I took any pictures!
One concern people have about CSA’s is getting too much produce for the week and it going bad before eating it all. This is a legitimate concern as it is a LOT especially for one or two people. It does put pressure on you to eat more veggies (especially greens) which I think is a good thing for extra micronutrients and fiber in your diet! I would suggest having a plan of what to do when the end of the week nears. For me, juicing is the answer for remaining cucumbers, carrots, lettuce and other greens. Freezing, or canning is another way to use up the ingredients, especially if you make sauce, salsa, soup, etc.
Well it’s only Wednesday! Tomorrow I can look forward to roasting up my pattypan squash and hopefully making some zuchinni bread if the temperature isn’t too hot to turn on the oven!
To Note: All CSA’s aren’t created equal and you have to do your homework asking questions to your local farmers and feel good about their farming practices. Also be aware that signing up for a share comes with the risk, like any investment, and a poor season may lead to less produce.
What local, seasonal veggies or fruits are you loving this summer?
Peas and Love ❤