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The first CSA of the year arrived! Seeing the box made me happy I decided to do go for it again this year. I think this year’s CSA is going to suit us well. First, it’s getting delivered to our house. Going to a drop off point was fine last year, especially since the CSA I subscribed to last year started in the summer and school was out. Now it’s a tougher for me to drive about 20 minutes away to get our produce because my commute time already is a hefty 45-60 minutes. Second, we’re getting a smaller box (5/9 of a bushel) every week. Getting a bushel of fresh veggies every two weeks was more than I could reasonably cook through before at least some of it went bad.
Lastly, Tomato Mountain, the CSA provider, emails both before and after a drop-off is about to occur. Instead of guessing what’s in the box like I did last year — admittedly it was very fun — now I know exactly what I’m getting. Please know that we loved last year’s CSA provider, Angelic Organics. I cannot say enough about our CSA experience and we loved visiting the farm and making goat milk ice cream. It was one of the highlights of our summer and we plan on visiting again this year.
Let’s just get to the pictures already, why don’t we? Look at the pictures, try to guess what they are, and I’ll put the answers at the bottom of the post…
A nice dark lettuce
You know, there has never been a time in my life where I went to the grocery store and bought four bags of lettuce. I have never done that. So four bags of greens to be eaten in one week? That’s a challenge for me. My husband said very seriously, “This is a sign that our family needs to be eating healthier.” I thought that was funny considering I bought and paid for this “sign.” The first recipe I made was Turkey Taco Salad, which is what I did last year, too. It’s just too, too easy. We used the second lettuce from the top as the basis for the salad. I cannot say it enough: I love a good taco salad.
Last weekend I made a side salad with the dark lettuce and you need to know that the leaves were so delicious that it didn’t need dressing. I love a good dressing, but this lettuce did not need it. In fact, my husband commented over that meal that we need to stop buying packaged dressings and just stick to oil and vinegar. I definitely want to go more unprocessed so I’m fine with that. (If you have a dressing recipe that you want to share with me, I’d love to hear it.)
What’s so funny about this experience is that I’m looking at these lettuces and a thought comes into my head, “Is this lettuce safe?” I buy the plastic boxes of organic spinach that are made in massive batches on large farms and I never question the safety of the industrial produced variety, yet the stuff that I’m getting straight from the farm… I wonder about *that*?? For me, that thought forced me to acknowledge my backwards thinking. I actually even had a box of plastic spinach in my fridge — it looks nothing like that farm fresh stuff — and now I’m going to wonder about that stuff.
The last thing in the box was a surprise:
The output of the farms first few weeks was lower than they had expected. They grow their greens in hoop houses and when for about 10 days in March we experienced a freak 80 degree heat wave, the lettuces were negatively affected. In an email, Tomato Mountain said that the high heat was not ideal for cooler loving lettuce. The CSA managers decided to throw in a jam because they felt bad about the “smaller” box. I have to say that I felt a bit bad that they gave us this amazing jam because part of signing up for the CSA is knowing that you either share in the farmer’s bounty or in their lower yields. It’s part of the inherent risk. Anyway, the stuff was a terrific, unexpected treat.
Here’s what the CSA’s email told me the greens were:
Toyko Bekana, Vitamin Green, Red Rain