Saturday, March 17, 2012

First Box of 2012 Season

This is the first week of our 2012 CSA season and our fifth year as subscribers. We've learned a lot and eaten a lot of amazing food over the past 5 years, all of it documented on this blog.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Through this model, consumers like me purchase a share of the produce to be grown by a farmer during the upcoming season.  You pay in advance, helping the farmer fund their business and receive food from the farm at regular intervals throughout the season, sharing in both the risks and the rewards. You typically pick up a box once a week at a location convenient to you. With produce in hand, you're all set.

It's both fun and frustrating to participate.  On the positive side, you receive amazingly fresh, healthy  food, you get to try new things, and have the opportunity to build a relationship with the people who grow your food.  On the negative side, it can be a challenge to keep up with the amount of food and to be creative when you receive the same thing several weeks in a row or receive something you simply don't like. All things considered, it's been a fantastic experience.

You can learn more here:

This week's box contains:
  • Little Gem Lettuce
  • Soup Celery
  • Yellow and Orange Chantenay Carrots
  • Red Bearded Scallions
  • Arugula
  • Red Chard
  • Red Radishes
Some of you know I am not a lettuce fan and often end up sending it right to the compost pile. This week though, I'm actually glad to see it. I've been on a mustard kick for the past few weeks and the lettuce gives me a chance to dip into a new jar of PIC Moutarde Forte.

To say that I love this mustard would be an understatement. It's tough to find, but well worth the effort.

With dijon mustard as the starting point, our menu tonight will include:
Red Radish Canap├ęs (radishes)
Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette (lettuce, red bearded scallions)
Mushroom and Barley Soup (soup celery, carrots, arugula, chard)
Fresh Sourdough Bread
...which leaves us with a second bunch of radishes.  I plan to try a radish and sesame soy noodle salad from Ching-He Huang at the BBC.

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