Friday, June 3, 2011

Community Farm Share Week 1

This is my first year being involved in a Community Farm Share (CSA). I don't exactly know what to expect but I love the idea of leaving a smaller carbon footprint and experimenting with food. I must admit I was nervous going to the farm and looking like the person that doesn't know what they're doing. Fortunately for me I looked more like I knew what I was doing than didn't.

I had 3 recycled bags from Nicaragua which my sister picked up for me a few years ago. They're reusable plastic bags made from old plastic bags by women in jail. Then I had two 1 lb plastic strawberry containers from strawberries I bought at the grocery store. Then I also have green reusable produce bags. I was totally prepared for my adventure.

I read the article on what to do when you get to the farm probably 5 times before today that I knew I had to find the board and sign in. I walk into the area with the board and sign myself in. I see that I have to go pick 2 quarts of strawberries and some herbs then I can come back and grab the veggies that have already been picked.

So off I go to pick strawberries, which by the way I've never done before. I take some clippers and just follow the arrows to the strawberry field. It is 4 pm and there are a bunch of people out there with kids. Everyone is kind of at the back of the field as if the front is fully picked over. I look and I'm like the darker the berry the sweeter the juice. I listen to what the moms are telling their kids - "Make sure you pick the ones that are all red.. we don't want to see any white patches." Ahh, so that's how we do this. I have it down pat. I get to the middle of the patch and I find strawberries galore. Oh I just want to stuff them in my mouth they smell so good.

I quickly fill two quarts and then dump the strawberries into the 1 lb containers. 1 lb for us (the BF and I) and 1 lb for my boyfriend's family. I'm glad they were willing to split the farm share with us or I don't know how the bf would survive on just veggies! He's a true carnivore. Anytime I make anything without meat and I say it needs something he's like yeah well meat could add some flavor to this. I'm wondering if he's ever had meat without seasoning. It's really the seasoning that makes the meat flavorful.

Anyway.. I head back to headquarters and see what else I can pick up. 1 bunch of turnips, 1 head of lettuce, 1 head of escarole, 1 bunch of bok choy, 1 lb of Swiss chard, 1 bunch of kohlrabi, and a group of onions. Then I take the clippers and snip off some lemon balm and mint. A nice little addition to summer ice tea.

So there you have it. My first CSA week. Now what to make with this food? Luckily, my farm share also has a blog and they put up recipes on what to make with our random assortment. I'm going to try swiss chard hummus. I'll put a picture up on how it goes.

You're probably wondering why I just wrote about food and not about running. Well, that will come. I've officially started training for my first marathon ever! I decided that once I switched careers that I would run a marathon. My best friend and I are signed up for Chicago in October. I'm really excited and promised that I would meet up with her at least once a month to train. This means that tomorrow (Saturday) I'm getting up at 4:45 to leave the house at 5:00 am to drive 2 hours to run 8 miles with my best friend. Some may say it's not worth the time or the money but I think it is. You got to make opportunities and spend time with those that you enjoy spending time with.

Now back to food - the plan after running 8 miles is to meet up with my friend who's a nutritionist and make homemade jams! Whoo hoo! I'm so excited. I really do enjoy making things from scratch. There's something really satisfying about it. Maybe because it's always made with love.

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