Friday, May 25, 2012

CSA Summer 2012 - The Goods - Week 1

Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA



It's CSA time!  I'm so jealous of all the people who started weeks ago, but we've started now and it's awesome.  We had about a month gap between our winter buying club and the start of the new CSA.  I went to the farm market on opening day, and it was one of those beautiful experiences where all the farms were like, "Welcome back!" and everyone was happy.  And then I went two weeks later and it was crowded and angry there, so I'm pretty happy to have my CSA veg.  



New year, new farm.  This year it's Greensgrow, right here in the city.  A farm in the city is just a weird place to be.  There's a pig named Milkshake, and you can go and look at him, and his pen is on a city corner, like, someone is parked right beyond the fence and someone lives across the street from the pig, and it's sort of mindblowing.  We went to their start of the season party last week and got a sense of the layout and what it'd be like to pick up there (we've always picked up at someone's house, never at a farm) and then this week was the first pickup.


One of the things I like about it right off the bat, is that there's a farm market going on right at the same time as CSA pickup, so if this week's haul is short on lettuce, you can buy it there, or if you need some dairy or whatever, it's there for you.  One of the downsides is that this place is on Sous Chef Brian's way home, and nowhere near anywhere I go, so he's pretty much going to be in charge of pickup.  That means he bought eggs not knowing I had just bought eggs.  So we need to coordinate better, but it's tough to say, "Hey, buy whatever produce and dairy you think we need based on the mystery food we're getting in the CSA," when really, I'm the one planning meals around here.  


Since some of this is purchased produce and some of it is CSA haul, and I wasn't there, I'm really not sure what's what, so let's think of all of it as happy fresh local produce, regardless of the business deal that brought it into my house. 


Spinach, onions and tomatoes.  I have a secret.  There have been tomatoes at the farm market both times I've gone, and I haven't bought any.  I was sort of in disbelief that it was tomato time, and just didn't trust them.  It's tomato time. 



Beets and asparagus.  The good news is that I have a taker for the beets already. 



Just look at these strawberries. I mean, really.  I've bought a few pints lately, and they've been wonderful, in that we haven't had strawberries in a while, but lacking in flavor.  These are exactly what you want in a strawberry.  They're sweet and flavorful and run down your chin when you bite into them. 



Dairy. I think we were assigned the brie (bottom right) and could pick one more dairy product, so Sous Chef Brian bought the cheddar and the eggs.  The thing on the bottom left is butter. 




Big-ass kale. Oh, I think we call it "dinosaur" kale.



Radishes and English peas.  I've been getting radishes at the farm market, but they're not this bright and firm and wonderful.  Sous Chef Brian is anti-peas, so I think these are going to hide in a salad. 



Red leaf lettuce, scallions and mint.  I don't know how to cook with mint, and I'll blame my spouse for this - he's really not into things that are minty, like, can't have a menthol cough drop or a tic tac or whatver, but we discovered last year that it's not fresh mint.  Fresh mint is fine.   I've still never done anything with it.  Ideas welcome. 



Have your CSA seasons started, or have you established a farm market routine, or discovered that your local grocery store has some new local goodies?  How's your produce this spring?

click the thing you want to read about