What happens when you pair a health-conscious, vegan mother of two who has her own diet business with a husband and children who sometimes have other ideas? This blog is a chronicle of my journey to eat and live in a life-affirming way!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our CSA Farm Share Starts Today: What are They and Why Should You Sign Up?

Here in New York not much grows locally in the winter but last night I finally was able to excitedly await our first delivery of our CSA farm share!

I am sure you have heard of CSA's but just what are they, you might wonder!

CSA stands for 'community supported agriculture' and they are a unique approach to farming that brings the farms and constomers together to produce quality, locally harvested, sustainable crops to your dinner table! With a CSA you become a "member" of the farm for a season by pre-paying on the produce you will receive, which enables the farmer to be able to afford to plant and harvest the produce! And, you in return receive a portion of the farm's harvest!

I am a member of a CSA called My Farm Share. I am signed up for the vegetables only share but you are able to add on a fruit share as well as an egg share to your membership. Each Tuesday night beginning in June, we receive a box bursting with fresh vegetables for our week!

This morning, we received ample amounts of mixed lettuces, swiss chard, arugula, kale, radishes, garlic scrapes, bac choi and fresh basil! Not only does receiving vegetables each week encourage me to experiment with vegetables I have turned out to love but might not ordinarily buy, but I have been able to really connect with and become educated about which vegetables are in season in my area.

When you have eaten a vegetable that has literally just been picked and delivered to your doorstep and you taste just how fresh they are, you can literally never go back! Today, I am planning on making a large salad for lunch with the fresh lettuces and radishes and a large green juice and tonight I will make a fresh pesto with the basil- yum! As we get different vegetables each week, I will be posting new recipes to test out for your family so stay tuned!

Garden Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

Mixed lettuces

Optional: grated carrots, sliced tomatos, avocado, or any other vegetable that you have and love!

For the dressing:

4-6 tbsp olive oil

1/2 Lemon

Dash of sea salt

In a large bowl, mixed the lettuce and then top with whatever vegetables you have on hand. In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon, garlic and sea salt and then top on your salad! Truly so delicious and easy!!!

Pesto Sauce

1 ¼ cups olive oil
2 cups chopped basil
1 clove chopped garlic
½ cup chopped pine nuts

1/2 cup parmesan (optional!)
Lemon (optional)

Mix all of the above ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If you want a more lemony taste you can add the juice of one lemon. You can use this pesto sauce over regular pasta noodles, on top of pizza or brushetta, or even over fish!

Tonight I will use the pesto sauce over regular noodles (rice Tinkyada) for my son and husband and over zucchini noodles, which I have sliced with a mandolin or hand slicer, for me!

However you use it the result is delicious and it is always nice to have some in the fridge to spice up recipes!

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