Tonight we pick up our December portion of our CSA share. Now seems like a fitting time to recap what happened to our first share from November. Sadly both the broccoli and radishes went moldy before we ever ate them. In part this was due to me getting sick the same week we received the vegetables and not being up to cooking, and then leaving town for Thanksgiving immediately the next week.
Our pumpkin also went bad. I found it squishy about a week after we received it — not sure what happened there. The cabbage had worms in it. I actually brought this to the CSA organizer’s attention and they are graciously offering us a refund with our December share. I’ll blame myself for letting a pumpkin rot and broccoli getting mold — but for not worms.
Vegetable CSA Adventures
So my cabbage stew that night became a vegetable and bacon stew that looked like this and contained carrots and one parsnip.
As expected, both squash we received tasted marvelous! I even ventured to roast the seeds too.
I braved eating beets for the only time since childhood. Guess what? I still don’t like them. The husband was a champ and ate all of his. He later admitted not wanting to hurt my feelings. Aww… These beets were lathered in pure butter and sugar — but still — I could not stomach them.
Brussel sprouts were roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Overall they were enjoyable and I would eat them again, although I was more partial to the smaller ones.
Vegetable CSA Adventures
As of now the only veggies we have left are two sweet potatoes (appear to be in great working order) and one parsnip (still not sure what to do with that) and a turnip, nearly the size of my head.
November CSA Share
I first heard about CSAs (community supported agriculture programs) a few years ago while living in Fort Wayne. But for various reasons I was never able to join one. Either they were sold out, didn’t offer service where I lived, or I was too intimidated by cooking new vegetables.
Shortly after our recent move, I remembered CSAs once again and decided to see what was available here. I’ve been cooking a lot more now and trying new vegetables so I thought it would be the perfect time. I found a handy database of CSAs local to the Cleveland area in The Plain Dealer. For folks living elsewhere, see if your local newspaper has a listing, or visit Local Harvest or Eat Wild.
If you are new to CSAs, basically you pre-pay for local fruit, vegetables and sometimes homemade goods. Then at a designated time and location you pick up your “share” of the crop. This way you enjoy the most fresh, local produce available — and support local farmers and the local economy at the same time. Most summer CSAs run from about May through October. Winter CSAs might be available, or holiday shares like the one I found.
I decided to try City Fresh, which was offering a November and December holiday share. Perfect! Each share costs $28 and can be picked up in person at either an east side or west side location. Our first share was ready Tuesday night. There was so much produce I could not even take photos of it all. Here’s a glimpse at what we received.
1 Acorn Squash
1 Apple Butter, Pint
1 Beets, Bunch
1 Broccoli, Head
1 Brussel Sprouts, 1 Lb
1 Buttercup Squash
1 Carrots, Bunch
1 Pie Pumpkin
1 Radishes, Bunch
1 Sweet Potatoes, 2 Lbs
1 Swiss Chard
1 Turnips, Bunch
I’m more than eager to try cooking with all of these veggies! However, nearly half of this produce is new to me. I’ve never purchased or prepared beets, swiss chard, brussel sprouts, turnips or cabbage. I was able to find guides online telling me how to store each item and how long they should last. We are going to try to eat everything in a reverse order so none of the food spoils.
Do you have advice on how to prepare and cook these “new to me” veggies?
December CSA Share
On the fitness front, I attended slow flow yoga on Monday and power vinyasa yoga on Tuesday at Yoga at the Force. Both classes were great and Jess was kind enough to join me as well, not to mention she was pretty much tearing up her mat with crazy moves like crow. Who does that?! Not me, not yet. 😉
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in an assisted wheel pose Monday, which is a “new to me” pose. The instructors have definitely been pushing me beyond my normal level of comfort — which is a good thing and the small class size has resulted in additional input on my form. In all, a good deal!
I thought about a run after yoga Tuesday but decided to finish some freelance projects instead so they wouldn’t be hanging over my head over the holiday weekend. I’m hoping to lace up my shoes again today.
So onto the vegetables. The husband picked up our share for December and was so kind to even take a photo (I didn’t even ask him to!) as I was running out the door to yoga class. Talk about a blog supportive spouse. 🙂
In addition to much of what we received in our November CSA share, this time we also received dried navy beans, kale, a different type of squash and cauliflower. Also, the consensus on my turnip (and the additional ones received Tuesday) is to try making mashed turnips. Wish me luck!