Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Bountiful Harvest

A tisket, a tasket, an overflowing basket....
This little rhyme runs through my head each week when I arrived at Tracie's Farm to pick up my C.S.A. share. I have wanted to buy a share each year for the past few, but finances kept me from being able to do so. Last summer, my good friend C worked at the farm for her single share, and it was more than she could eat alone, so she shared it with us. That was enough to convince me that this summer we needed to get our own. On top of that, since discovering I have a sensitivity to chemicals, pesticides and preservatives, it just made more sense. I love that I can reach into my crisper drawer and pull out, well, anything, and not have to worry about how it was grown.

Tracie is one of the nicest, most down to earth people that I know, and if I didn't already have a summer job, I would go work on her farm. This year, when we had to work around Ms. Thang's soybean allergy (she gives out soybeans one week during the summer), she took extra precautions with our basket including having the staff wash their hands after they picked them, after they passed them out, and she even moved our basket to a table in the back of the barn by itself in case any plants drooped out of someone else's basket and touched our produce. She is the best kind of people. On top of the produce she grows, we can also buy local made cheese, fresh eggs, cut flowers and a locally made ice cream from her. I usually get my eggs from C, but this weekend I want to do a lot of "baking for the freezer" and so I picked up a dozen yesterday when I got my basket.

We get a family share, which is the perfect amount of produce for us. We have salads every weekend, when the produce is the freshest, as our pick up day is Friday. We have tried new recipes I've found using eggplant and summer squashes, along with the greens from early summer. I have also taken to blanching and freezing some of our bounty to enjoy in the dead of winter such as green beans and carrots. The best part, is that because I do my grocery shopping on Friday, I can see what is in our basket, and adjust my dinner menu ideas around that if need be. Tracie sends out an email every weekend letting us know roughly what will be harvested that week, so I usually go by that.The season lasts until October, and then, we can sign up for a fall share, and another one again in the spring. I'm seriously considering both.

The photos below show what was in my basket this week. Obviously the contents change every week depending on what's ready, but we never feel that we haven't received more than our money's worth.  As Alton Brown would say, this is good eats!

1 comment:

Deb said...

I second your endorsement of Tracie! This is our 3rd year of membership and I can't rave about the farm, Tracie and her crew enough. I've learned to cook kale and kohlrabi, found new ways to cook eggplant (which seems to be prolific this season!), and I look forward to Fridays to pick up my basket. It's like Christmas every week!