(It’s been a long time since I last blogged, but I was out of town and SO busy, so there are TWO blog posts today because they’re about two entirely different topics)
I’m so excited that our CSA started yesterday! For those of you who don’t know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a CSA as “a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.” More generally, shareholders typically purchase a share before the growing season begins (we bought ours in March), then once the season is in full swing, they pick up a box of fruits, veggies, meat, flowers, and other farm-fresh goodies once a week.
This is our first time doing a CSA and I think the whole house is pretty excited about it. We have a share from Christensen Farm in Browntown, Wis. We went to visit the farm and meet the farmers in March before we bought our share, and they’re good people. The husband is a science teacher at one of the local high schools and the wife stays home with their 3 kids and tends to the farm and the chickens. They have a TON of chickens and they are just happy as can be! They get to roam around, roll in dirt, and eat all kinds of bugs and other things to give them a well-rounded diet. I’ve learned so much in just a few months… like chickens enjoy rolling in dirt! I’m excited to keep learning and hopefully get to participate in some of the farm activities (they have a pea pick in a few weeks!).
So this post is getting a bit long, but I am SO excited about our CSA and our garden! We had really high hopes for our garden this year, but none of us had the time to get everything going, so we started with some of our favorite things, to supplement the CSA box, and we hope to add some more fruits and veggies next season. So this season, we have 14 heirloom tomato plans (2 each of 7 different varieties), a handful of hot peppers, a bunch of sweet peppers, some cherry tomatoes, and I think we’re going to try to get some beets in this weekend. We tend to spend a LOT of money on heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market, so we decided to save a bunch and just grow our own. We eat heirloom tomato sandwiches at least once a week during the summer and at up to $5.00/lb, we’re going to be saving a ton this summer! I was a little unsure of growing such a large quantity of so few things, but it will work out well. EVERYONE in Wisconsin has a garden (LOVE IT!), and last year, our friends were bringing us left-overs from their gardens and giving them to us, so this year, we’ll be able to trade! Yay!
SO, I think this will be a good topic for me to blog about because it will pretty much force me to blog at least once a week. I’m going to try to post a list of what we got in our box that week and what we’re planning on doing with it all. Yay! This week, we got:
- Bibb lettuce
- Rhubarb (except they forgot it, so we’ll get it next week)
- Garlic scapes
- Green onions
- Homemade salsa
…and we purchased an egg share for the season, so we get a dozen eggs every week. They’re so pretty! We’ve gotten white, brown and green ones!
So this week’s box kind of lends itself to sandwich and salad stuff. So that’s what we’re doing!
- Thursday – BLTs (I just had a cheddar sandwich with veggies – no meat for me!) and we used the Bibb lettuce.
- Friday – Pasta salad bar with grilled asparagus and we’ll use the garlic scapes and some green onions for the pasta salad. Maybe some radishes, too.
- Saturday – Grilled potatoes with garlic scapes & salad using the Bibb lettuce or spinach & radishes
- Sunday – Chicken breast pinwheels with ricotta and spinach (pasta pinwheels for me!)
We’ll just have the strawberries for snacking and I tried the salsa already to make sure I got a taste because my brother will devour it in one sitting.
So that’s it! Yay for fresh, local, in-season fruits and veggies! I strongly encourage everyone to look into their local farmers markets and CSA programs. I eat so much better when I really think about what I’m eating 🙂