This is my first year participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). By buying a “share” of a local farmer’s produce, each week I receive fresh-picked, organic items as they come in season.
It’s been one of the highlights of my summer. Grocery store produce simply can’t compare to local, organic produce. I never realized how darn fresh food really can taste—and it’s so much fun to see what’s available each week. I was sad when the strawberries were finished, but thrilled that potatoes had come in.
The greatest fun for me, though, has been trying new foods. These are items I wouldn’t normally purchase, simply because I didn’t know about them. But now I do… Kale, leeks, fennel and so many more items are now part of my cooking repertoire. Jane Van Benthuson offers a great article on the glory of kale this month, so if you’re unfamiliar with this exciting green, she’ll help you give it a try.
Some of my favorites so far this season include the strawberries, spinach, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chinese cabbage, kale, corn, celery… Part of the fun has been creating new recipes using whatever is in season. While the tomatoes were abundant I made a tomato-artichoke soup that is probably the best I’ve ever tasted. The recipe is included in this issue.
And the potatoes! There is nothing on this earth that compares with a home-grown potato. Since potatoes are on top of the must-eat-organic list, it’s even more of a treat.
With the end of the growing season approaching, I wondered what I would do in the coming winter months for fresh produce. Luckily, I found there are year-round CSAs available through farmers such as Little Muddy Farm. Thank goodness!