Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CSA - One week, one box, many opportunities

I have been getting a box from J&P Organics, a local CSA, for a couple of months now. For those of you who haven't heard of CSA, it stands for community supported agriculture. Farmers grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and sell them directly to consumers in what is basically a variety pack each week. For those of us who are idealistic, it's a way of helping family farmers survive in a nation of mega factory farms.

I like belonging to a CSA not just because we're helping to preserve family farms, but because you get to have a personal relationship with the farmer, in addition to having organic fruits and vegetables picked at their peak.

I'm not always good about finishing all of the bounty that comes to me in my box each week (and I don't always order weekly, I usually order every other week--because the produce was picked that day, it generally lasts two weeks). In order to spur myself to finish all of the box this week, I'm going to post the contents of this week's box, and post updates daily on how I'm using my veggies (we get less fruit, so I generally don't have a problem finishing that!)

Here's what we got this week:
eggs (available if we want to order them with our box)
golden raspberries
yellow globe squash
green squash (maybe tatuma?)
sweet potatoes
new potatoes
red spring onion
Swiss chard
green leaf lettuce

M. is gone for a couple of weeks, so it's up to me to finish off this week's box! I'd love to hear your suggestions especially for the swiss chard as I've not cooked with it much before.

For my A.M. pick-me-up, I'm having a Green Monster with about a cup each of chard and spinach, a banana, unsweetened Almond Breeze and a T of flax seeds. Since I'm not yet sure how I'll cook the chard, I decided to add it to a Green Monster to take advantage of its nutritional benefits (it's high in folate, thiamin and zinc, plus lots of vitamins). I first learned about Green Monsters on Caitlin's blog Healthy Tipping Point, and although I thought anything with pureed greens would be revolting, the banana and Almond Breeze add great flavor so you don't even taste the greens. I loved GMs from the very first one I made. It feels virtuous to get in 2 cups of leafy greens without even tasting them!

My usual summer breakfast is muesli:

1/2 cup oatmeal (NOT steel cut)
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup fat free yogurt (I'm using plain, but I usually use vanilla)
1 T maple syrup

Combine ingredients in a bowl, refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Today, I'm topping my muesli with strawberries and golden raspberries from my CSA and a couple of toasted pecans.

I usually get up around 5:00 AM and have a small snack then eat breakfast at my desk around 8-ish, so this will be all ready for me when I get hungry. With a breakfast this yummy, I'll be ready to face whatever problems crop up (the last couple of days have been insane at work!)


Tracey said...

Oooh it all looks so terrific!! I can't wait to see what you do with all of that goodness.

Natashya said...

So wonderful! I wish they had CSA programs here. They do in the city but not out here near me.. sniff.

Anonymous said... looks so good. I wish I could join a CSA. There is only one local and it's full.

Michele said...

I would love to join a CSA but there are none in my area. Good luck using up all the food!

margot said...

I have always wanted blog about each thing I made with my CSA box and I just decided to cancel it (I realized I can shop at farmer's market and my boyfriend never eats any of the fruit so I have trouble finishing it).

I made a lot of gratins with chard last winter. And I highly recommend the "Chez Panisse Vegetables" cookbook and "The Art of Simple Food," if you don't already have them. I find both books invaluable resources for cooking vegetables.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you have a lot of variety in your CSA box. Lucky you. Oranges? Love the green drink!

Carol Peterman said...

A quick sauté with garlic and olive oil is always good for Swiss chard. What is this capital NOT regarding steel cut oats? Steel cut oats are the best!

Jenn H (formerly TourGuideJenn) said...

I've been pondering joining a CSA. Keep posting about your experiences to help me decide! ;-)