Our first week of CSA – the booty!

This year we are bought a share in a local CSA  program (Community Supported Agriculture).

I’m really grateful that we have this option here in NYC.  I like the idea of knowing where my food comes from and that it’s grown without harmful chemicals and pesticides, and I like the idea of directly supporting a small farm.  I also like not having to wait in a sometimes excruciatingly long line at our food co-op.

Everything about a CSA program appeals to me, especially since I just don’t have the room to grow all the veggies that I’d like to.

Yesterday was our very first food pick up.  One down, 21 more weeks to go!

I was very pleased with the variety and amount of goods that we got.  (Okay, the rhubarb bundle is a little skimpy, but everything else was plentiful.)

As you can see, I was not the only one excited to bring home my CSA booty…I had three curious helpers ready to examine the produce and make sure it was acceptable.  (click on any photo to enlarge)

Notice the lower left corner of this photo.  That’s Telly, our Russian Blue rescue.  He was beside himself trying to decide between batting the green onions or going after the turnip greens.

Yikes – the text in that photo appears much smaller here than it did when I entered it at home.  Here’s a much more readable list of what was included:

  • 1 dozen brown eggs from pastured hens
  • 1 small bunch of rhubarb
  • 1 quart of strawberries (SO sweet and delicious!)
  • 1 small pot containing a purple basil plant and an oregano plant
  • 1 large bunch of green onions
  • 1 head of Boston lettuce (gorgeous)
  • 1 large bunch of bok choy
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe
  • 1 large bunch of white turnips + greens
  • 1 large bunch of green swiss chard
  • 1 bag of sugar peas (not pictured)
  • 2 (two!) garlic scapes….!!!

I realized after uploading the photo that I forgot to include <gasp> the sugar peas that were also part of our basket!  I had left them in my bag and decided not to retake the photo.  We got a healthy sized bag of really beautiful peas, and I can’t wait to dig into them.

Rico inspects the green onions

Rufus, our fearless Flamepoint Siamese cat, always takes a bolder  approach.

Meanwhile Telly decides that turnip greens are TASTY.

I haven’t had turnip greens in ages and honestly, I can’t remember the last time I bought or cooked turnips.  It will be fun to find things to do with the produce that isn’t on my usual menu!

As far as Telly is concerned, the farmer can send more turnip greens every week…

Sorry for the terrible photos!  Low light + fast-chomping kitty = blurry shots, but I couldn’t resist posting them anyway.  Telly is the biggest of our 3 cats weighing in at a formidable 16 pounds, but he’s also the most scared…he’s scared of just about everything (including produce), so this was a big, bold move for him.  Go Telly!

We are already looking forward to next week’s CSA basket – and to eating this week’s.


She Certainly Can…Can-Can…

Ella Fitzgerald, anyone?  We may not be “having a heat wave,” but I am looking forward to warmer weather and canning!

It’s been years since I’ve canned anything.  There’s something about those finished jars all lined up that is so lovely and satisfying…I’m hoping that between our CSA weekly produce and the veggies we grow ourselves we’ll be able to can a few things besides FIGS.

Come August and September, I suspect I’ll be googling every fig recipe out there and working on a few fig jam recipes…here’s hoping all my friends and family like it, because I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone will get for Christmas this year!

Mr. B and I moved into a place last year that has 4 really old, healthy, and well established fig trees on the property and last year we literally couldn’t give them away fast enough.  Birds, squirrels, neighbors – together we were no match for the trees, which continued to produce figs faster than we could keep up with.  Purple splats stained the yard and walkway.  There were many happy insects in our yard.

THIS year, I’ll be prepared…with jars, lids, and a new pressure canner.  Here’s the one I’m looking at:

It’s an All American, and it gets pretty rave reviews.  People seem to like that it doesn’t use a gasket – fewer parts to wear out and replace down the line, solid construction, and a good guaranty.  These beasts (and they are big) seem to last forever.

While it will hopefully solve the problem of what to do with all those FIGS, it sure doesn’t solve the “but where are we going to PUT it” issue.  Sigh.

Still, it will be worth it to can up  some pickles, green beans, pesto, roasted peppers, and my husband’s amazing tomato sauce!

Anyone else out there thinking ahead?  What are some of your favorite things to can?