For those not in the know, a CSA is a crop share agreement which builds on the concept of community assisted agriculture. The bulk of a farmer's expense is early in the growing season and the payback comes much later when the farmer can finally harvest. A CSA allows consumers to prepay a farmer for an entire season's worth of produce in advance, in return for a share of the harvest. Most of the CSAs are run by farms located near a major metropolitan area with delivery points throughout the city to allow direct access to organic and local produce. Mine, for example, is run by Dragonfly Farms out of Mt. Airy, Maryland and is actually a consortium of small farms which allows for more variety in my weekly crate. I get on average between 8-15 different items and I share in the risk of farming. Some crops may fail, others may be overabundant. But the end result is clear... I get the freshest most amazing looking and tasting seasonal produce, for cheaper than going to a Farmers Market or to Whole Foods. I cut out the middle man and take it back, primitive style, to the homesteading days of our founding fathers.
I decided to do a 3 season CSA (spring/summer/fall) which will provide me with a produce from the beginning of May through the end of November. With any luck, I will have preserved enough of my fruits and veggies to make it through most of the winter without having to buy any.
Week 16 (August 18)
- 1 eggplant: gave to friend
- 3 japanese eggplants: gave 1 to friend
- 4 roma tomatos
- 4 bell peppers: gave 2 to friend
- 6 banana peppers: gave 2 to friend
- 4 cucumbers: gave 2 to friend
- 4 onions
- a bunch of beets
- collard greens: sauteed with garlic, butter, n' olive oil
- 6 necterines
- 8-10 peaches
New to me: japanese eggplant
Week 15 (August 11)
- 5 cucumbers: pickled
- 5 green peppers: 3 dehydrated for future use
- 2 onions: awaiting fate
- 5 ears of sweet corn: pickled
- 1 purple eggplant: dehydrated for future use
- 1 white eggplant: dehydrated for future use
- 4 red potatoes: 1 was moldy and thrown out, others turned into baked potatos
- 1 tomato: thrown into classic marinara sauce
- a small bunch of kale: garlic kale chips
- 10 apples: eaten on weekend rafting trip in WV
- 5 peaches: eaten on weekend rafting trip in WV
- 2 pears: eaten on weekend rafting trip in WV
New to me: white eggplant
Week 14 (August 4)
- 2 large cucumbers: sliced and dipped into baba ganoush
- 6 ears of sweet corn: 1 left, the rest eaten on the cob
- a bunch of kale: crispy garlic kale chips
- 3 greenbell peppers: dehydrated to add to camping food
- 1 yellowbell pepper: diced into salsa
- 1 purple bell pepper: diced into salsa
- 3 serrano peppers: diced into salsa
- 3 "mystery" hot peppers: 1 diced into salsa, 2 dehydrated for future use
- a whole bunch of cherry tomatos: dehydrated for future use
- 2 tomatos: diced into salsa
- 2 sicilian eggplants: 1 made into baba ganoush, 1 dehydrated for future use
- 2 Spanish onions: 1 still left, the other sliced into quesadillas and salsa
- 6 yellow apples: all eaten during camping weekend
- 6 peaches: eaten deliciously raw
- a pint of plums: dehydrated into prunes
Leftover: 1 ear of sweet corn, 1/2 cucumber, both still good.
New to me: sicilian eggplant, "mystery" hot pepper, and I'm not certain those are serrano peppers because they taste spicier than I would expect.
Week 13 (July 28)
- 2 zucchinis: one pending its fate, one sauteed with pasta
- 2 large cucumbers: sliced and eaten with baba ganoush
- 5 ears of sweet corn: eaten grilled and incorporated into homemade corn tortillas
- 1 eggplant: perfectly smoky baba ganoush
- 9 peaches: one was mushy, the rest eaten deliciously raw
- 1 pint little purple plums: pending their fate in the fridge at work
- a bunch of kale: crispy garlic kale chips
- a bunch of mustard greens: wilted into korean style ramen
- 4 golden delicious apples: awesome awesome awesome devoured as snacks
- 2 tomatos: pasta sauce
- 2 green peppers: incorporated into some Amy's organic chili and an omelet
Leftover: one zucchini still awaiting its fate (but no new zucchini, so will be eaten likely), plums are in the fridge at work because I got sick, but will be eaten when I get back to the office.
New to me: mustard greens!
Week 12 (July 21)
- 4 zucchinis: incorporated into omelets, steamed and eaten with corn for lunch, layered into moussaka
- 3 cucumbers: sliced and eaten raw with red bean dip
- 1 head of cabbage: turned into sauerkraut!
- 5 ears of sweet corn: 2 given to Boy, 1 incorporated into omelets, 1 eaten as whole corn on the cob, 1 sliced off ear and steamed and eaten with zucchini for lunch
- 1 eggplant: layered into moussaka
- 1 bunch of collard greens: linguine with spicy collard greens and bacon
- 3 green/red peppers: sliced and eaten raw with red bean dip
- 3 shallots: incorporated into red bean dip and linguine with spicy collard greens and bacon
- 2 tomatos: sliced and eaten raw, incorporated into quesadillas
- 1 cantaloupe: eaten raw as snacks
- 7 peaches: eaten raw as snacks
- 1 pint little purple plums: eaten raw as snacks
New to me: nothing, although I'm not sure exactly what variety of plum I got.
Week 11 (July 14)
- 4 zucchinis: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for later use
- 2 cucumbers: sliced and eaten with homemade red bean dip
- 6 potatoes: awaiting fate
- 6 ears of sweet corn: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for later use
- a huge bunch of collard greens: cooked with chicken stock, butter, apple cider vinegar, and hot sauce
- 1 quart of green beans: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for later use
- 3 cloves of garlic: awaiting fate
- 1 white onion: half put into homemade red bean dip, other half pending fate
- 4 green/red peppers: sliced and eaten with homemade red bean dip
- 4 yellow plums: eaten fresh
- 5 peaches: eaten fresh
- 1 cantaloupe: eaten fresh
- 1 head of cabbage: turned into sauerkraut!
New to me: yellow plums
Week 10 (July 7)
- 6 zucchinis: sauteed as side dish
- 2 cucumbers: salad and dipped into spiced greek yogurt
- 2 kirby cucumbers: vehicle for bean dip
- 1 head of garlic: bean dip
- 3 tomatoes: sliced into breakfast sandwiches
- 1 white onion: used up rest of last weeks for sauteed veggies, part of this one is in a bean dip
- 3 green peppers: cut up to be served with bean dip for lunch
- 4 jalapeno peppers: pickled!
- Huge bunch collard greens: fried up with homemade bacon
- A bunch of red potatoes: made a massive batch of mashed potatoes from this and last week which were divided up for lunches and frozen (some eaten for dinner with boy)
- 1 head cabbage: sauerkraut attempt number two
- 1 cantaloupe: cut up and taken to a BBQ
- 7 peaches: eaten raw as snacks and breakfast
- 1 pint blueberries: eaten raw as snacks and breakfast
Leftover: still have some zucchinis and one green pepper pending their fate, plus part of a white onion.
New to me: Never actually cooked collard greens myself. And not sure I've ever had kirby cucumbers either...
Week 9 (June 30)
- 1 pint blueberries: eaten raw as snacks
- 2 green peppers: sliced and dipped into homemade spicy black bean dip
- 4 gargantuan zucchinis: dehydrated for camping food
- 1 huge bag of baby spinach: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for later use
- 4 apples: eaten for lunches
- 3 baby white onions: used one in spicy black bean dip, others are still pending use
- 1 quart beans: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for later use.
- 1 cucumber: eaten raw as snacks!
- 4 medium red potatoes: still pending use
- a small bunch of beets: pickled and canned for later use.
- 1 medium bunch of kale: garlic kale chips
Leftover: some onions and potatoes, which are still good
New to me: Nothing
Week 8 (June 23)
- 1 quart green beans: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for future use
- 1.5 quarts peas: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for future use
- 12 spring potatoes: gave half to Boy, made blue-brie potato custard
- 2 tomatoes: dehydrated for future use
- 3 red delicious apples: ate raw as is
- 1 purple onion with greens: used in custard and still awaiting demise
- 5 beets with no greens: leftover but destined for canning
- 2 cucumbers: dehydrated as experimental snack... turned out kinda wierd but would be good with a creamy dip
- 1 head of green cabbage: used some in korean ramen and have most of the head hopefully destined for homemade sauerkraut
- 1 quart blueberries: eaten raw.
- 1 bunch of kale: garlic crispy kale chips!
- 6 zucchinis: dehydrated to add to dehydrated camping foods... reconstitute pretty well!
Week 7 (June 16)
The Goods: NOOOO LETTTUUUCCEEE!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
- 1 quart peas: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for future use
- 1 pint snow peas: eaten raw as snacks
- 2 cucumbers: one given to Boy and the other eaten with dip
- 1 bunch green onions: chopped into bison korean dumplings and quesadillas
- 1 bunch baby beets with greens: greens chopped into bison korean dumplings, beets roasted for lunches
- 2 tomatoes: dehydrated and vacusealed as snack pack for biking-camping trip
- 12 spring potatos: drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, and thyme and roasted for lunches
- 1 yellow squash: sauteed for lunch
- 1 big bunch chocolate mint: mint chocolate yogurt popsicles
- 1 huuuuuge head of broccoli: blanched, vacusealed, and frozen for future use
- 1 huuuuuge bunch of kale: crispy garlic kale chips
Leftover: I have learned how to pack certain veggies into single serving frozen packets of joy for easy lunches and for enjoying in the winter when my CSA is no more!
New to me: Chocolate mint... which I have ideas for making chocolate mint frozen yogurt pops
Week 6 (June 9)
- 1.5 quarts broad beans: on reassessment, I am now fairly certain these are peas, given the time of season and a closer inspection...they are now in possession of Boy
- 3 tomatoes: sliced and toasted atop English muffins with cheese and sliced into quesadillas
- 7 young potatoes: some still waiting to be eaten... others eated with BBQ sauce from Kentucky
- 1 large bunch beets with greens: greens wilted into tomato soup, beets were pickled in a sweet savory brine with some hardboiled eggs
- 2 zucchinis: baked into savory zucchini muffins
- 1 yellow zucchini looking thingies: one was eaten with garlic scape pesto and the other eaten as a sweet dessert with brown sugar and butter
- 1 small bunch radishes with greens: greens were chopped up into mini-quiches, radishes were pickled with garlic and ginger.
- 1 big head broccoli: greens were chopped up into mini-quiches, florets were given to Boy
- 1 head green leaf lettuce: eaten as salads
- 1 huuuuuuuge head romaine lettuce: given to Boy... have fallen out of love with salads and can't take it anymore.
Leftover: I'm fairly certain Boy will not make it through the romaine I gave him. I have since stopped caring and freaking out about the demise of lettuce.
New to me: Nothing!
Week 5 (June 2)
- 1 quart strawberries: some eaten raw, but finally, I exercised some restraint and made creamy strawberry swirl popsicles!
- 1.5 quarts sugar snap peas: another victim of my pickling brine
- 1.5 quarts snow peas: sauteed with garlic scapes from the Farmers Market, supplemented with snow peas from my garden
- 2 itty bitty cucumbers: eaten in salads
- 3 hothouse tomatos: eaten in salads
- 1 bunch green onions: stirfry
- 1 bunch huge radishes: eaten in salads
- 2 yellow zucchini looking thingies: stirfry
- 2 huge heads romaine lettuce: my old friend, the salad
- 1 big head broccoli: stirfry and pickled with garlic scapes from the Farmers Market
Leftover: Oy, still have a leftover zucchini looking thing, some of the green onions...
New to me: Yellow zucchini looking thingies.
Week 4 (May 26)
- 1 quart strawberries: eaten fresh straight from the basket (as always)
- 1 quart snow peas: eaten fresh dipped in Farmer's Market greek yogurt as snacks
- 1 big bunch young beets with greens: roasted in garlic and herb infused olive oil
- 1 big bunch spring onions: sauteed with various veggies
- 1 obscenely huge head of romaine lettuce: taken with me to Kentucky for Memorial Day group camping meals, mostly topped grass-fed beef burgers stuffed with garlic and blue cheese
- 1 obscenely huge lead of butter lettuce: gee, guess what, salad!
- 1 bag washed spinach: sauteed
- 3 hothouse tomatos: eaten on salads
- 1 big bunch radishes with greens: made into pickles!
- 4 huge potatoes: baked potato!
Leftover: Well, half of the romaine did not get eaten in Kentucky and I left it there. I have three of the four potatos left, but those will stay good for a long time so I don't really considered those wasted. [UPDATE: one of the potatos was rotten, the others were eaten as mashed potatos the week after]
New to me: Nothing!
Week 3 (May 19)
- 3 stalks of rhubarb: stewed with a lil cane sugar and cinnamon
- 1 obscenely huge head of butter lettuce: its a good thing I like salads
- 1 obscenely huge head of romaine lettuce: its really a good thing I like salads... like taco salads, and a boy who likes romaine and who happily took about 2/3rds of this giant
- 3 hothouse tomatos: chopped into taco salad, sliced onto sandwiches
- 1 large bunch of radishes: pickled!
- 1 huge bunch of baby asparagus: lightly sauteed
- 4 large potatos: two eaten as baked potatoes topped with various delicacies from the Farmers Market (from thick greek yogurt to sauteed mushrooms, bacon, and leftover beef gravy), two roasted with poussin (spring chicken!)
- 1 pint strawberries: half eaten same day with fresh homemade ricotta cheese
- 1 huge bunch of green onions: baked potato topping, roasted with poussin (spring chicken!), sauteed with broccoli rabe and pea shoots from my garden
Leftover: Nothing, unless you count the 2/3 head of lettuce I gave to boy in an effort to reduce waste.
New to me: nothing, except that I don't think I've ever seen such beautiful young asparagus before.
Week 2 (May 12)
- 3 stalks of rhubarb: made into rhubarb custard pie
- 1 obscenely huge head of butter lettuce: eaten as salad with half given to boy toy, the heart of the head of lettuce was brushed with balsamic vinegar and grilled
- 1 obscenely huge head of romaine lettuce: eaten mostly as salad with half used for asian lettuce wraps
- 4 hothouse tomatos: sliced into salads and onto breakfast egg sandwiches on homemade english muffins
- 1 bunch of mint: steeped in green tea, the leftovers are drying so I can make Moroccan mint tea bags (basically looseleaf green tea with dried mint and some sugar-in-the-raw)
- 1 large bunch of radishes: radish greens incorporated into asian lettuce wrap stuffing and radishes turned into refrigerator pickles
- 1 bag of baby spinach: wilted in korean style ramen and sauteed to put atop an sandwich
- 1 bunch of asparagus: yay more garlic chili asparagus pickles!
New to me: nothing
Week 1 (Cinco de Mayo)
- 1 pint strawberries: eaten raw... I am now so spoiled I don't know if I can eat regular store strawberries anymore
- 3 stalks of rhubarb: rhubarb coffee cake mostly eaten by boyfriend with a small stash in the freezer
- 3 hothouse tomatos: eaten in salads and cooked into focaccia
- 1 big bag of what I think might be baby kale: sauteed with morel mushrooms in butter and eaten in salads
- 1 head red leaf lettuce: eaten in salads
- 1 small bunch radishes: greens were too wilty to eat, the rest eaten raw dipped in grassfed cow milk yogurt from the farmer's market
- 1 bunch green onion: eaten in salads and a stirfry