This year I decided to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program. I love eating vegetables but was tired of always finding the same basic staples at the grocery store. My local farmers market didn’t offer much variety either. I learned about CSA programs awhile ago but never looked into signing up until now. I researched multiple in my area; thankfully I live in a community that has farms close by. I think convenience is everything and that is the biggest part of why most prefer a grocery store over farm to table or packaged process foods over fresh food that needs to be prepared. For me, it’s all about health and eating foods that will nourish my body so this became a priority.
Which one did I choose? Whistling Train Farm
Why? It is literally a 10 minute drive from my house. There CSA program runs 40 weeks which is twice as long as most that just go through the summer months, bonus! They have a large U-cut flower garden in addition to unlimited U-pick beans and peas. I was able to get a discount on my share by signing up to volunteer 2 days on the farm. They offer a trade in box when you pick up your veggies in case there is something that you don’t want or can’t eat, lastly they have potlucks and events. Although not certified organic, there farm practices are organic and they prioritize having nutrient rich soil. Many of the mass produced vegetables in grocery stores are grown in depleted soil and lack the concentration of vitamins and nutrients. I’m excited to put in some work getting my hands dirty and meet new people in the community.
My first box:
Sorrel: vitamin A,B6, C, iron, magnesium, potassium, fiber, eye health, digestion, cancer protective, lower blood pressure, treats skin conditions
Rainbow Chard: sauteed simply with garlic and olive oil.
Rapini (broccoli rabe): vitamin A,C,K, calcium, iron, fiber, antioxidant, eye health, anti-inflammatory, heart and brain health, cancer protective
Parsley: vitamin C,K, antioxidant, heart health, protects against rheumatoid arthritis.
Purple Kale: vitamin A,C,K, fiber, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer benefits, heart health, detoxifying.
Broccolini (swapped for this over potatoes): vitamin C,K, folate, chromium, fiber, digestive and cardiovascular support, cancer prevention, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory.
Fresh cut daffodils
My second box:
Mustard Greens: vitamin A,C,K, folate, fiber, antioxidant, detoxify blood and liver, lower cholesterol, strengthen bones, boost immune system
Rainbow Chard: vitamin A,C,K, magnesium, potassium, heart and brain health, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cancer protection
Rapini (broccoli raab): I’ve been trying to find this forever in the stores and at farmers markets so I can make this pizza, Italian sausage and rapini with ricotta. So delicious. Oh yeah the crust is gluten free, grain free, and vegetable free. Can you guess what it’s made of? Canned chicken, yeah you heard me right. You bake it at 350 for 10 minutes to dry it out, let it cool, add 1 egg and 1/4c grated parmesan cheese, form into a crust, bake on 500 for 8-10 minutes, add toppings and bake for another 6-8 minutes at 500 until cheese is melted.
Purple and Green Curly Kale:
Spring Onions: vitamin A,C,K, fiber, blood sugar control, heart health, bone health, boost immunity, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory.
Stay tuned for the continuation of my CSA journey. I will post every two weeks, with the veggies I get, health facts, recipes and how I prepare them. As you can see most are used simply raw or sauteed because I like to taste the flavor.
My favorite surprise so far was the sorrel. I had never even heard of it! When eaten alone it has a lemony flavor. This week it was a good addition raw in my salad and I used it with some basil and parsley for a pesto. Last week I used it to make a marinade with the parsley some lemon and olive oil for a lamb roast. Take your taste buds on an adventure.