30 August 2015

Community Supported Agriculture and a Few Meal Ideas

I've been reading about Community Supported Agriculture for some time. If you've never heard the phrase before, here's a quick rundown from LocalHarvest.org:
...a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
As I was saying, each time I read an article about a CSA, I would lament to myself how shameful it was there was not one local to me. Well, for about two years now, I've. Been. Wrong. Can you believe it? One was started in my area in 2013. The drop-off point closest to me didn't come about until more recently, but still.


I don't know if the CSA in my area is similar or different from others, to be quite honest, since this is my first. "The Dirt Farmers" are a network of farms. (From the dirt, to your door is their motto -- love it!) I'm allowed to purchase a share that can be customized each week from the offerings of all the farms in the network. I also have the option of a "farmers choice." In that instance, the share will be picked for me. For our first order, we chose the following: 1 lb. butter beans, 1 Country Italian loaf bread, 1 head of cabbage, 5 assorted honey straws, 1 Sun Jewel melon, 1 bag of mint (spearmint), 1 lb. okra, 1 lb. poblano peppers, 1 bag mixed greens, 1 butternut squash, 2 spaghetti squash, 1 bag roma tomatoes, and 1 yellow watermelon.

Just look at this beautiful bounty --


A little concern I had with getting all this great produce was what to do with it! I didn't want any of it to go bad, of course. I'm happy to say I *think* we have plans for all of it. In case you're interested, here are a few ideas:

Spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce, mixed
greens and roma tomatoes, and Country Italian garlic bread.

Fresh butter beans and ham, fried fresh okra, and
homemade cheddar biscuits.

French toast made with Country Italian bread and yellow
watermelon.

We also plan to make some corn and poblano pepper lasagna, then have another veggie night with a warm cabbage slaw, roasted butternut squash, and the rest of the okra.  I mainly use fresh mint to flavor my water, and am drying what I haven't used so far as I type.  The honey sticks are my new favorite "candy" -- they will surely be gone in short order! That should only leave one other spaghetti squash, and I think B already has plans for it as well.

Take it from me, if you think there is no Community Supported Agriculture in your area...look again! And don't be afraid to give it a shot, especially if there is a trial offer. In that case, you've got nothing to lose. And don't stress about knowing what to do with it. Go with what you are familiar with at first. Then branch out a bit... That reminds me of the Sun Jewel melon. We had never had one of those before. It is said to be like a honeydew with a bit of cucumber and pear flavors. I agree with the honeydew and cucumber, but I didn't get much pear. B, on the other hand, said he tasted pear. We chopped it up with the yellow watermelon and ate it as a snack or dessert. Tasty stuff!

Shout out to TheDirtFarmers.com!

Shared at Homemade Mondays, The Art of Home-Making Mondays, The {Not Just} Homemaking Party, Making a Home - Homemaking Linky, Teach Me Tuesday, and Tuesdays with a Twist.


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