Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Local veggies headed my way

So I just joined (or will have joined, once I get my check in the mail) a community supported agriculture project with a local farm. For $600 you get a crate of fresh vegetables once a week. For $375 you get a crate once every two weeks. If you sign up and pay the whole fee before April 1, you get a 10% discount.

A half-share (the 1-crate-biweekly option) is described as meeting the "produce needs of one vegetable-loving person or a family who consumes only a moderate amount of vegetables." I figured 1 crate every two weeks would be plenty. They give this huge list of the sorts of things the grow:
Here is a list of crops you can expect through different parts of the season:

Sample Early Season: Spring Greens, Lettuce, Spinach, Radishes, Scallions, Peas, Kohlrabi, Bok Choy, Asian Greens, Cilantro
Sample High Season: Cucumbers, Cauliflower, Carrots, Corn, Summer Squash, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, Swiss Chard, Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Fennel Bulb, Beans, Melons, Kale, Eggplant, Basil, Dill and other Herbs.
Egg Corn, Eggplant, Garlic, Carrots, Arugula,

Sample Late Season: Beets, Carrots, Spinach, Potatoes, Onions, Celeriac, Broccoli, Rutabaga, Winter Squash, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic, Various Herbs

Sounded intriguing (What's egg corn? What do I do with a fennel bulb? Is celeriac a relative of celery? I sure hope these things get packed with labels on 'em). Sounded healthy. Sounded like a challenge to eat more than just carrots, cucumbers, corn, lettuce, and tomatoes. So I bit the bullet, wrote out the check, and joined.

I have a feeling there's going to be a biweekly feature on the blog this May through November involving a photo of all the stuff in the crate. And probably a plea for recipes/suggestions/ideas about what to do with the contents. For example: Mom says chard is good cooked up with olive oil and garlic.

I figure that $335 or so is a lot to pay up front, but it'll be worth it. It's all local, organically grown produce. It'll make me eat healthier ('cause if I pay that much for it, I sure am gonna eat it). So it looks like I'm taking on cooking this summer as well. Need to learn more of that for Thanksgiving anyway.


Hotch Potchery said...

color me jealous!!! that sounds amazing. I am going to be a regular at our local farmer's market, but I would be brave enough to buy fennel bulb, but if I had it, I would figure it out.


Just Me said...

Ooooh, I'm green with envy!

Fennel is a licorice-y tasting relative to celery, I think. When my stepfather worked for an italian restaurant, he used to roast it along with other veggies (eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, garlic) and make roasted veggie sandwiches topped with fresh mozzarella and blanched asparagus.

Oh, man, I'm HUNGRY.

G said...

Blimey. Got a juicer? You're going to need one.

G said...

You can make chips (fries) with fennel.

I know, kind of missing the point, but worth a try.

--V said...

I don't have a juicer, no. I think there's going to be a lot of soup and roasted veggies in my future.

There's probably a way to make baked chips out of fennel, isn't there? I think Allrecipes.com is going to be one of my new best friends this summer.

One more thing--I think "egg corn" was a lost-in-translation kind of error. My theory is that person writing the list was taking dictation from someone who recited all the different of crops this farm grows--speaker probably said something like "acorn [squash], eggplant" and writer heard "egg corn, eggplant."


G said...

Ok - soup. My favourite:

3 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 2 big leeks (or 3 small). Chop and soften in a little olive oil (about 5-8 mins in a big pan with the lid on).

Dump in a 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes (or use fresh in season) and about 1.2 litres of stock (I use Marigold bouillon powder).

Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins, dump in some small pasta shapes, simmer further 10 mins.

Add 14 oz can (drained) cannelini beans and - vital secret ingredient - large tablespoon of green pesto. Salt and pepper to taste, serve with shavings of parmegiano, if liked.

Should keep you going for days - freeze some for next week.