12 June 2012

From the Farm: Week 1

When my dad was alive and I lived in Arizona, he would ship me tomatoes from his garden because I said the ones at the grocery store tasted like chemicals. He had it timed just right so that when I opened the box they were just ready to be eaten. When I moved back to New York, he helped me set up portable planters since there's barely any sunlight in my backyard and we made plans to put in more when we could. But that all changed. I didn't grow anything last year. I didn't grow anything this year. Eventually, I know I'll make my way back there, but until I do, I want to think about and obtain food in a way that certainly does not happen at my nearest chain grocery store.

We joined a CSA this year. If you don't know already, CSA is community supported agriculture. We, along with many others, pay a local farmer in advance for a portion of their farm's vegetable yield. Some years will be plentiful and some years won't, but you commit to supporting the farmer and their work no matter what. I selected the CSA I did partially because they accept SNAP benefits. SNAP is the official name for what we understand as food stamps. In case you're wondering, we're not SNAP recipients, but my husband's mother once was and my grandmother was as well. It means a lot to me that our CSA has taken the steps necessary to make fresh, local produce available in our area to low-income residents who are trying to eat healthfully.

Anyway, I could go on and on about this, but the above photo shows our first week's haul. We had mounds of fresh salad mix, radishes (which my mom ran off with), kale, beets and beet greens, strawberries, onions, and snow peas (which are currently my husband's snack of choice).

We also met some amazing neighbors recently who kindly gifted us with these this week:

There's nothing quite like fresh eggs and these were beyond compare. These are Americana eggs known for their pastel prettiness. My husband ate the more colorful ones before I could snap a picture but rest assured there were some blues and greens in there.

And all of this became this:

My breakfast of oatmeal, fresh strawberries, and bananas. Yum!

Grilled steak salad with roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, grilled onions, with a basil dressing.

And my first attempt at a roasted beet and beet green gratin taken from this recipe here which utilized those gorgeous eggs as well. Ours needs some fine tuning still and it's not as colorful as the one at the link since I only grabbed orange beets this past week.

All this and I still have to make kale chips! 

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