Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Today I picked up my share of veggies from the CSA I recently joined. I decided that nothing would give me the impetus to cook and eat healthy food like paying for it up front, so I bought a half-share of vegetables from a farmer who grows certified organic produce, including herbs. Every other week I head over to the host site a few blocks away to pick up my bounty. This week's share included heirloom tomatoes, candy onions, carrots, beets, potatoes, green beans, squash, and cucumbers.
CSA, or community supported agriculture, enables urban dwellers to partner with farmers who have made the commitment to grow organic vegetables. This enables families to enjoy fresh, nutritious produce that's grown locally on family farms and it guarantees the farmer a dedicated group of customers. When the crop is better than expected, so is your share. When it's disappointing, you share the farmer's luck. It all comes out in the wash.
I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Farmer Bud yet, but he communicates by email every Saturday night by letting us know what we'll be getting. He often includes recipes, particularly for the more unusual items like garlic scapes. When I arrive home with my bounty, my husband and I look in awe. I have never seen such pristine vegetables, even when my own parents did a little bit of organic gardening at their home in the Poconos. I feel horrible about wasting anything, but the beauty of the CSA is that your vegetables are picked the day before you get them, not days or even weeks before. So everything keeps very well for a week or even two in the refrigerator. The vegetables are so beautiful that I couldn't bear to discard of even the peelings and roots, etc. so I invested in a small composter.
Roasting in the oven right now is a casserole I made with Bud's potatoes, carrots, onions and beets. You peel and slice the carrots and beets, wash and quarter the potatoes, and add thick slices of onions. I also added a few cloves of garlic that I got from Bud last time around. You sprinkle some salt on the vegetables, coat with a little olive oil, and bake at 375 for an hour. The beets and carrots impart a sweet flavor to the potatoes and the result is a delicious dish that my family has come to really enjoy. Now if I served carrots or beets individually, it would be a different story with a few turned up noses!
I can think of no profession that allows man to see God's generosity and the wonder of creation more than farming. And I've never met a farmer who didn't believe in God.
Posted by TLW at 5:42 PM