Community Supported Agriculture Box 2015

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A long lovely blog post was written, and then poof! It was gone.

I just got the official CSA 2015 email!  (if you want to learn more about Community Supported Agriculture click here: http://www.pitchforkorganicfarm.com/csa-information/2015-csa-information/)

This year there are a lot more options, lots of add-ons like flower bouquets, eggs, and extra boxes.  However there are some downsides.  Last year I chose to do a short 16 week season as I was going on vacation and the last few boxes would have gone to waste.  They aren’t offering a short season this year.  This year the regular season is 22 weeks with the option to add-on a 4 week early spring season.  Unfortunately the price has gone up even with the early bird discount.  I’m pretty sure the boxes were $25 each last year and this year they are $32, with the early spring boxes being $30.  Last year it cost me $500, and this year it’s a rather painful $824. Ouch!  Correction, I redid the math, each box was $31 so about the same, but the longer season has sure upped the price.

I’m still going ahead with it though.  Aside from wanting to support my local farmer and wanting to eat as much organic produce as possible, there are other benefits.  I still have onions, garlic, beets, cabbage and half of a squash left from last season.  Although the CSA season was only 16 weeks, I’ve been eating from the stockpile much longer than that.  I’m thinking that a 26 week season should give me enough food for most of the year.  I was telling my friend about the cost this year and fully anticipated her telling me I was crazy.  Nope!  She thought it was great because she benefits too.  I give her the stuff that I don’t like -leeks, eggplant and radicchio!

The first boxes will arrive mid-April which Is still feeling like a long way away.  My plan is to blog each box every Wednesday.  Last season about half of the pictures were pictures that my farmer had posted on Instagram, this year I will not be so lazy and will take my own pictures.  If you want a sneak peak, follow me on Instagram!

CSA box week 12

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week 12

 

Another killer box from my farmer.  Beets and onions went into the stock pile.  Tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and onion became fresh salsa which I put on beans, rice and topped with avocado.  The blueberries I was so excited for!  The last time blueberries were in the box I gave that box away because I was on vacation.  They were delish!  I’m always so sad when blueberry season ends, it’s a long wait until they are available again.  Luckily for me I bought 30 pounds of frozen blueberries to get me through the winter.  I had already stocked up on raspberries and bananas and wasn’t sure I could fit it all into my freezer at once.  It wasn’t easy, but eventually it all fit.

packaging up for smoothies.  2 cups per bag

packaging up for smoothies.

My freezer from last month:  40 lbs bananas, 30 lbs blueberries and 10 lbs raspberries

My freezer from last month: 40 lbs bananas, 30 lbs blueberries and 10 lbs raspberries

Back to the CSA box, butter lettuce was such a nice change from the endless red leaf lettuce.  I made lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, avocado sandwiches with gluten free Portuguese buns from the farmers market.  It’s been about 7 years since I’ve sandwich in a bun, gluten-free baked goods have come a long way.  Next week I think I’ll buy some more.  More carrots, some of these I juiced, the rest went into stir fries.  Finally there was kale.  I actually didn’t know what it was!  I thought it might have been some sort of collard, but it’s flat leaf kale.  It seems all I ever see in the stores is curly leaf kale, I figured that just how all kale was.  I chucked it all into my morning smoothie.

CSA Week 11

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A massive box this week

A massive box this week

This week my farmer passed me my box and right away I commented how heavy it was!  There are some definite highs and lows here.

1. Leeks.  I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do with these.  The last bunch I gave away to my dad and he hasn’t used those ones yet.  He’s not super keen to take more.  Suggestions needed.

2. Zucchini- I added these to the pile of zucchinis from the previous weeks and then realized I gotta start using them!  I spiralized half of them into noodles and made massive salads and I juiced the balance.  Wondering what I mean by spiralized?

spiralizer

I spiralize cucumber, zucchini, and carrots into noodles and either treat them like past noodles or do a noddle salad.  Change the texture of the vegetable and it’s like it’s something completely new and different.

3. Potatoes… added to the stockpile.

4. Gem squash – I haven’t used these, I’m waiting for the weather to cool and then I’ll bake them and then add them to a salad.  I’m not the biggest squash fan, I fear this is the start of many more to come.

5. Corn- again I chowed this down so quickly.  I brought the corn with me to work and was eating it at my 10am coffee break.  My co-workers thought it was weird, but why wait until lunch, it was as sweet as fruit!

6. Beans.  I polished off last week’s yellow beans in record time.  I was at a berry farm on the weekend and saw that they were selling beans for dirt cheap.  I didn’t anticipate that I would be getting more beans, so I bought a massive bag.  Fast forward to mid way through week 12 and I am still trying to eat all these beans.  I should probably have made pickled beans, and will probably regret it later.

7. Tomatoes- All of the tomatoes this year have been super ripe.  I don’t know if this is how ripe they are supposed to be.  Maybe the supermarkets have trained me to think that tomatoes should be kinda hard.  Essentially they all needed to be eaten in a couple of days.  I ate a lot of salads, and I ended up juicing some of them.

8. Swiss Chard – I actually ran out of swiss chard part way through the week for the first time ever.  I found myself hunting in the fridge for something, anything green I could toss in my morning smoothie.  I’ve actually had swiss chard in my garden all summer but haven’t touched it because my farmer has been giving me so much.  Silly me I forgot all about it.

9. Eggplant.  As a rule I don’t like it, it’s the slimy texture, I just can’t stand it.  I’m sure I read an eggplant jerky made in the dehydrator somewhere, now I just gotta find it.

10. Poblano peppers- I probably should have used these to make salsa, but I didn’t have cilantro and I just knew it wouldn’t be the same.  These peppers are still waiting for me.

CSA week 10

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My favorite box of the season

My favorite box of the season

It’s been a busy August full of lots of fun things and some changes.  I scheduled a lot of posts way in advance so I could take time to chillout and enjoy without thinking about what I was going to blog.  Today I realized that a post should have hit the blog at 9am today, but I hadn’t written anything.  Apologies lovely readers. 12 hours late I’m sitting in my garden while the hose is rejuvenating my veggie plants after a hot day.

So week 10 of the CSA box was my absolute favorite.

1. Sweet onions- added to my collection of onions.  I won’t be buying onions until the spring I think!

2. Cherry tomatoes- a rainbow of sweetness, red, yellow and purple.  I pretty much ate them with everything, and they didn’t last long.  Each colour had it’s own flavour and consistency.  They yellow was softer and sweeter and the purple were more firm and less juicy.

3. Beets- also added to my crisper of veggies that keep well.  I did toss some of the greens into my morning smoothie but I find they go limp so quickly that I often don’t use them fast enough.

4. Cucumbers and zucchinis- cucumber is one of my favorite things to add to juices.  For some reason this week I just haven’t felt like juicing.  I have pretty much used my juicer every single day for the last 4 years, so this is really unusual for me.  Instead I’ve become obsessed with lemon and cucumber water steeped overnight in the fridge, it’s been the perfect summer drink this year. The zucchinis sat neglected in my fridge until week 11.

5. Carrots- also added to the stockpile and ignored until week 11.

6. Beans- oh man am I in love with beans this year. I’ve been eating them raw and adding them to everything imaginable.  It’s amazing how often people see me eating them raw and comment  that they didn’t know it was a possibility.  Inevitably they grab a bean, taste it and comment that it tastes the same as cooked.  I don’t know why that is a surprise to most people.

7. Cabbage- added to the fridge and ignored until week 12.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  There was a tipping point when I thought I can’t possibly pick-up my CSA box today, my fridge is still full.

8. Corn!!!  Oh my giddy aunt this corn was so freaking good.  It was so sweet and best of all it is GMO-free.

 

 

CSA week 9

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week9

Honestly that is such a massive box!

More F-ing swiss chard. I cannot begin to tell you how over swiss chard I am. I put 2-3 leafs in my morning smoothie, and I try to make a stir fry once a week to use up the stalks. It’s a losing battle my friends. I finally asked my farmer if there would ever be spinach again? She told me it’s just too hot and it goes to seed too fast. However they just planted some for the fall, so I will have to wait 5 weeks for spinach.

Tomatoes and cilantro and sweet onion?  Sounds like salsa, but I really wish there was a hot pepper in there. I might turn this into a salad dressing type thing.

I’m thrilled to see more garlic, I have big plans to roast you!  I have already been warned that this is it for garlic until next year.  It’s heart breaking news.

So many beets!  I think I’ll just stock pile these for a while and then do a roasted veggie pot with potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and what ever else comes along in the box.. squash???  It’s too hot right now and these will keep for a long time.

Zucchini I think I will spiralize and toss in a salad with lettuce, tomato and avocado

Dill, I have no plans for you whatsoever. I dried the last bunch, and I really don’t need anymore dried.  I wish it wasn’t so hot, I might have done some sort of dill, beet, potato, onion dish… maybe I still will.

This week I picked up my box, then went out for dinner and then returned to the farmers market with my sister’s family.  They hadn’t been before and it was fun to see the market through fresh eyes.  I see the vendors every week, so I don’t always go to every booth.  This week I think I talked to every vendor!  I even bought a beet/horseradish tapenade from a vendor I had never spoken to.  It’s delish, and similar to a aussie beet dip my sister brings me from Hong Kong.

 

 

What did I do with CSA box week 8?

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week8

As I was writing up the post for week 9 I was thinking I should tell you what I did with the last weeks box.  Sometimes what I think I’m going to do is not at all what happens.

I’m pretty sure I told you last week I was bringing this box with me camping.

More red leaf lettuce.  These heads of lettuce are so big, I made a salad for 6 adults and that only used up half of it.  I also tossed in some basil from week 6, some cucumber, roasted garlic from week 6.  Sadly the other half of the lettuce didn’t do well in the cooler and by the time the weekend was over it was time for the compost heap.

I used the carrots and cucumbers in Vietnamese salad rolls, perfect for hot summery weather.  I also tossed the cucumbers into a jug of water overnight with a couple slices of lemon.  I’ve been drinking refreshing cucumber flavoured water at work all week.

The leaks?  Well I admit I had no idea what to do with them.  Co-workers told me to boil them and top them with butter- gross.  I ended up giving to my dad and he was thrilled.

The plums.  I ate one and my niece at one.  My farmer said they were mealy and were best processed into jam or canned immediately.  Since I was camping this wasn’t an option.  These were not as tasty as the plums from my dad’s tree, very mealy. After a weekend in the cooler, they were pretty much smushed.  They went into the compost heap.

The potatoes and onion.  I have a bit of a potato stockpile happening in my fridge, lucky for me they keep well.  These weren’t used at all when camping, instead when I got home I made some hashbrowns with the onion and some celery.

Beans.  Wholly molley is that a lot of beans, good thing I really like beans.  Before I left for camping I oven roasted a whole head of garlic (from the week 6 box) in olive oil.  I then steamed the beans in a mix of roasted garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper- wrapped in tinfoil and placed on the BBQ.  Everyone raved about them, and it was so delish I made it twice.  I then polished off the rest of the beans at work yesterday by dipping them into hummus.

 

CSA week 7

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I have to admit that I haven’t eaten this box. I went on a camping trip and gave the entire box to a co-worker since I couldn’t bring any of it with me across the US border.

I was given back the mint and the fava beans. I tossed the mint in some water with some cucumbers and lemons- flavored water on the go. The fava beans I intend to turn into falafels.. eventually.

 

Also included was blueberries, carrots, fennel, zucchini, golden beets, swiss chard and romaine lettuce.  I’m pretty sure my co-worker is looking at her fridge and thinking what the hell am I going to do with this?  Welcome to my world.

 

week 7