Skip to main content

CSA Refresher: Why We're Members of a Farm {High Ground Organics}

 
Organic Schmorganic. Organic fruits and veggies are available in virtually every grocery store in town. So when it came time to renew the subscription to my CSA (community supported agriculture) box from High Ground Organics in Watsonville, I began to wonder: What's the appeal of a CSA box?

Let's review...right around the same time the Slow Food movement began to coalesce, the popularity of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) began to rise. CSAs are a popular way for us, as consumers, to buy locally-grown, organic, seasonal food directly from a farmer.

Here are the basics and benefits...the farmers receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow and have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow. We get weekly deliveries of fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits; we get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking; and we usually get to visit the farm at least once a season so the kids see that food is grown in the ground and doesn't just magically appear - in cellophane - in the grocery store!

I had initially joined years ago to get organic, freshly plucked fruits and veggies every week during their season and to support a local farm. And while I am happy to support local farmers, I realized that one of my strongest reason for continuing my subscription: the mystery! I love a challenge.

I relish getting something unknown in my box. I had never seen, much less cooked with, agretti. But I loved the burst of juiciness that it brought to a quick pasta tossed with pancetta, caramelized onions, and marscarpone cheese. The albino looking carrots - parsnips - were transformed into a flavorful soup with a sweetness brought on by white chocolate. And roasted romanesco added a nuttiness to a frittata topped with asiago cheese.

I love the adventure of finding delectable ways to cook something I've never seen before. What might stress out some home-chefs, piques my curiosity and gives me a reason to look for new recipes. So, every Thursday I pick up my CSA box and do a happy dance. Woohoo. Oh, yeah. Woohoo. Oh, yeah!

We pay $216 every 9 weeks for the season. That's less than $25 per week for super-fresh fruits and vegetables. Amazing deal.  It's like Christmas every week with the anticipation and glee of opening a box with unknown contents. I know, I'm fairly easy to please.

Yesterday I got: chard, green garlic, strawberries, lettuce, turnips, celery root, and mustard greens. The week before there were gorgeous artichokes and gem-colored cabbage.

Thank you, Stephen, Jeanne, and the entire High Ground Organics Team. Let the Spring cooking commence...


Are you a CSA member? Which is your farm? And what do you love most about your deliveries? Leave me a comment below.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never tethered...free to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa