September 19, 2012

Oooh, Veggies



Every Monday, I stop by the alley at the back of our local whole foods store a pick up a large crate of vegetables, a bag or two of fruit, a large loaf of bread, and a dozen eggs. They're delivered in beautiful sturdy plastic crates, but then I've developed a system where I transfer them all to a hefty box for transport home. You're of course not supposed to take the crates home.

This bounty comes from across Colorado. We belong to a CSA farm (community supported agriculture) that also gathers produce and other goods from around the state. So their eggs and veggies are from their farm but often their fruit is from another orchard and they get their bread from a local bakery. You can also get mushrooms and cheeses and other things.

CSA is a new model in farming. You pay a lump sum at the beginning of the year and then you get weekly deliveries of goodies. There are also winter shares where you can get one box every month of just winter veggies.

I both look forward and am a bit daunted by our weekly pickup. First of all, you don't get to choose your veggies. You have to eat what's in season, things you may not be familiar with, and it may be a lot of daikon radish or kale and how many recipes do you have on hand for kale? Well, I may not have, but now by god I have a lot. That's the thing. It can be a lot more time consuming because you have to plan and find recipes and cook a lot more from scratch. And believe me I'm just as busy as you are. I find that I cook a lot on weekends and freeze some.

But the thing is: I love to cook. So this forces me to make the time. Plus we're eating so much better, so many more veggies. You can't really justify stopping at the store for frozen pizza when you have a whole shelf of lucious greens and carrots and fresh tomatoes and home-made saurkraut. Tonight the kids happily ate salad (happily!) along with big meatballs I'd made from meat we get from our local university, in which the ag department sells meat. That loaf of crusty bread we get every week makes wonderful toast, which I take to work every day. I also take big salads or wonderful veggie stew from a whole bunch of different veggies. Did you know that radishes can be added to stew? Cabbage and kale and beets are very good in stew too.

But I have to admit there are times when I face the fridge and groan. What am I going to do with all this. Especially as we have a garden too ~ one that did quite well this year. Some goes to waste at times. But all I have to do is look up a new recipe and I'm off to the races.

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