Friday, March 11, 2011

Too Busy to Shop?

Yes... I've been a bad, bad blogging foodie/mommy/wife/worker/student/cook/daughter-in-law/friend... it's been THREE MONTHS since my last post!

I am... ashamed.

But I'm back on the wagon!

Today, I was reading a blog entry by the insanely talented crab & bee on their CSA delivery. Ok, so it's more like a few words and a couple of pictures... but the produce in those pictures? Fan-tab-u-lous. My fingers started twitching as I imagined the fun I would have at looking up recipes to try out on my poor, unsuspecting family.

What is a CSA?
'CSA' stands for "Community Supported Agriculture", and is a way to not only provide a steady supply of  local, entirely seasonal produce to your family, but to support your local farmers.
Two Birds? Meet my friend, One Stone.

How do you get the goods?
In the case of the farm I'm buying through - Full Circle Farms (Carnation, WA) - you have the option of scheduling a weekly/biweekly home delivery, or picking up from a specified location near you. Typically, it costs a little less to go the pick-up route but, for convenience sake (HEY... I'm 7 months pregnant with Boy #2, okay??), I'm going with the home delivery.

What ARE the goods?
Depending on the farm, you can get a wide variety of seasonal produce (veggies, fruit, and herbs), as well as some 'extras'; things like eggs, milk, and (my husband's favorite) freshly slaughtered animal (meat, people). Need an example of what is available? Here you go...:

 Beans (Dry)            
 Beans (Green)            
 Bok Choy            
 Braising Mix            
 Brussels Sprouts            
 Chards (Swiss)            
 (Escarole and Frisee)
 Collard Greens            
 Dandelion Greens            
 (Arugula and Mizuna)
 Lettuce, Head            
 Lettuce, Baby Heads            
 Mustard Greens            
 Salad Mix            
 Summer Squash            
 Purple-Top Turnips            
 Winter Squash            

Not bad, huh?

Why go the CSA-route?
Ever since my husband and I participated in our first crop-share - Whistling Train Farms (Kent, WA) - this last September to December, I've been looking for more opportunities to cook for my family. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?
Monday: Dinner
Tuesday: Dinner
Wednesday: Dinner... you get the point.
The issue isn't what meal to make, but what ingredients to use. I am still determined to only use seasonal vegetables and fruits, unless they're frozen - some of the frozen produce out there has as many, if not MORE, nutrients in it than their fresh cousins in the produce aisle. In the two months since our winter farm share ended, I've found myself growing a taaaaaaad apathetic when it comes to our evening meal. By knowing that you've paid (or are currently paying) for produce for a set amount of time (average is about 10 weeks), it puts more pressure to actually USE what you're paying for. Not only that, but supporting the local farmers of your community seems like something that would earn you some pretty hefty karma points...