Well, it's about time I got around to posting a CSA roundup--or anything, for that matter. The Suitor is encouraging me to write up a pork chop with pineapple relish that I made last night, and I'm hoping to have that up this weekend. Things have been enormously busy, mostly juggling training and work and cooking. I also spent a few days in the greater Lake Tahoe area early this week: at the southern end of Fallen Leaf Lake, right on the edge of Desolation Wilderness, is a Stanford Alumni camp that my family attends for one week every summer. The lake was cold, the mountain chickadees sang "cheeseburger!" from nearly every tree, the wildflowers were out in full force, and the trail up Mt. Tallac was just as scenic as I remember it being (if perhaps a bit steeper).
From My Blogroll
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Meanwhile, the rest of the world plugs along, and the day after I got back it was CSA day. Right on schedule, my box appeared on my doorstep and I had a whole new set of goodies to explore. This week in delicious organic produce:
- Mixed lettuce (2 heads). They are enormous. I'm going to be eating lots of salads this weekend! Perhaps I'll make some lettuce wraps as well.
- Red Norland potatoes (1.5 pounds). New potatoes, these. They are just darling: round, 1-1.5" in diameter, and as tender as can be. I made a potato salad last night (the vinaigrette kind, not the mayonnaise kind) and am having some with my lunch today. The rest will probably go into aloo gobi with the cauliflower!
- Summer squash (1 pound). Three patty pans and two crook-neck squash. Not sure yet what I'll do with these, but I might saute them with some leeks.
- Fresh lavender (1 bunch). I adore lavender, so I'm tickled that I'm getting some in my box. I have last week's sitting on my bedside table. This week's will probably go in a glass (makeshift vase) in the living room. Perhaps I'll make some creme brulee with it. :)
- Nantes carrots (1 bunch). Mmm, lunchy snacks!
- Yellow nectarines (1 pound). These are a little too firm for eating just yet, but they smell great. If I find myself unable to finish them raw, I'll pilfer some raspberries from my parents' garden and make a nectarine-raspberry crisp (a summer staple in our family).
- Green bell peppers (1 pound). One will go into a stir-fry tonight, another into fajitas on Friday, and the last one will probably be stuffed with a rice pilaf (possibly with ground turkey) and baked at some point this weekend.
- Heirloom tomatoes (1 pound). Two weeks ago I got one reddish striped one and a yellow one. Last week I got all yellow ones, and this week I got more yellow ones. It's not that I dislike yellow tomatoes (they're delicious--I sliced up some of them and had them with dinner last night), but I wouldn't mind having some in other colors as well.
- Romaine lettuce (1 head). Again with the salads. This would be good for a chopped salad. black beans, some corn, tomato, bell pepper, a vinaigrette with lime juice and cumin.... Mmm.
In other CSA news: starting in July I will be with a new CSA: Live Earth Farm. It's the CSA I was originally planning to join, but at the time they were full. I was on the waiting list, and this week I got a message saying that they had a spot for me if I was still interested. While on balance I've been quite happy with Capay Organic (my current CSA), there are a couple of things about them that have always bothered me.
For one thing, the whole delivered-right-to-your-doorstep setup, while convenient, isn't exactly the most planet-friendly way of distributing the produce. Live Earth Farm's distribution is done by neighborhood drop sites, which seems to be the norm for most CSAs. Every neighborhood has a designated site where the farm leaves the produce one day a week, and each member comes to pick up his or her share of the goodies. I can bike to my drop site, and I feel much better about that than a refrigerated truck driving around to each subscriber's house to deliver the boxes.
The other aspect of Capay Organic that bothers me is that they supplement their farm's produce with items from other farms. Usually it's produce from the Monterey area, which isn't terribly far away (although if it has to go from Monterey all the way up to the Sacramento area and then back down to where I live, that's a little silly), but there are frequently items from southern California or even Washington. It seems contrary to the spirit of eating locally, and isn't what I had in mind when I decided that I wanted to join a CSA. Live Earth Farm's produce is all grown on their farm, and judging from their online records of what's in the box, it doesn't look like the the amount of variety is much different. Live Earth Farm doesn't have as much fruit in each box as Capay Organic does, but since Capay's fruit rarely comes from their own farm, I'm okay with that. Besides, I can always supplement my box with seasonal fruit from the farmer's market.
Live Earth Farm also has some fun add-on options. I'm on the waiting list for the "extra fruit" option, as I'm a fool for all kinds of fruit. There's also a "fruit bounty" option, which I think must be aimed at those with large families and/or enough spare time to do a lot of preserving; last year fruit bounty subscribers got 4-5 baskets of strawberries every week! In addition to options for extra fruit, there are shares of pastured eggs, goat's milk/yogurt/cheese (a share in a goat or some goats, really), and artisanal bread from a local bakery. I was tempted by the bread option, but as I'm trying to bake more of my own bread when I want it, I decided not to do it.
Anyway, I'm excited about this new CSA adventure. And hopefully now that I seem to have my training and cooking sorted out, I'll also figure out how to work more consistent blogging into the mix!
Labels: Locavore living