Tuesday, June 4, 2013

CSA Time: What's in the box?

Today I received my first CSA share of the season and I have to tell you, words can't describe the sheer anticipation that lead up to the moment I walked into the Co-Op to pick up my box of goodies. For those of you who are unfamiliar with CSA's, the acronym stands for Community Supported Agriculture and they are a fantastic way to buy local, organic, seasonal produce directly from a farmer in your area. Once or twice a month (depending on the type of share you purchase) you pick up your box of goodies at a designated drop location where you bring home the freshest organic produce available. Not only are CSA's a great way to ensure you are receiving the freshest organic produce, you are also supporting your local farmers who are doing things the right way-And that's good for everyone!

Another fun aspect of a CSA is the exposure you get to things you have never tried before...Like stinging nettles.  I received a big bunch of this questionable leafy green in my share today and I am extremely curious and somewhat excited to figure out a way to prepare this outcast...So stay tuned!

What else did you receive in your share you ask?

Sorrel (I had no clue what this is.  Turns out it's a tart lemony green, delicious in pasta salads and it's lemony flavor also compliments lean meats such as fish)
Spring onions
Red radishes
A beautiful head of leafy green lettuce
Spring salad mix
Bundle of herbs-Sage, oregano, and thyme
Honey applesauce
3 dozen freshy laid duck eggs (I am now the envy of every serious baker imaginable)
Handmade goat milk soaps
                                     Seasonal wildflower bouquet

If you are at the point where you are totally jealous of all of the awesomeness I just listed, I completely understand.  The good news is, you too can sign up for a CSA!  Simply visit Local Harvest, a website dedicated towards the education of the importance of locally grown produce that happens to have a fantastic list of CSA's across the country.  You can also visit your local Co-Op or Natural Foods Store who will often have a list of participating farms in your area.

And for fun, check out the amazing farmers who provide my CSA share at L.T.D. (Living the Dream) Farms and follow them on Facebook!  They post impossibly cute videos of baby goats, geese, rabbits, piglets and show you what daily life is like on the farm.  I respect these two immensely in regard to the way they humanely raise their animals-If you are going to eat meat, these are the people you should be buying it from!

Stay tuned for fresh new recipes from my CSA share as well as monthly updates of "What's in the box?"

Eat Healthy, Stay Happy!


Kristen said...

Do you eat the eggs or will those be for Josh? I'm curious to know if they taste different or if they "taste like chicken", lol. And let us know how you prepare the nettles. I think you have to blanch them so they won't "sting" you but I don't know how they taste. Do you have to use gloves to handle them?

Jenni said...

Hi Kristen! I eat eggs very sparingly...And if I do, I only eat them direct from the farm. I have to say, duck eggs are much more rich and have much more flavor than your typical chicken egg. Also, I have read that bakers LOVE them because of their richness, they make baked goods that much more delicious. This morning Josh made duck egg pancakes-a great recipe for you because it's gluten free! SImply take one very ripe banana, and one egg and mix them together to form a batter. Cook them like you would cook a pancake on a flat griddle-Add blueberries and voila! Blueberry pancakes! You can buy their duck eggs at Seward Co-Op if you're interested in giving them a try.

I'm going to try blanching the nettles tonight-Maybe incorporating them in a stir-fry? If you wash the nettles before blanching them you are supposed to wear thick rubber gloves, but after they are well blanched, they loose their ability to sting, making handling them much less painful. It's a fun experiment!