Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend and One Local Summer!

I've already blown my plan for One Local Summer. I didn't go to our Farmer's Market today - this weekend is Festival weekend. That means there are thousands of people down on the Market and almost not a single place to park. In my younger days, I would park blocks away and walk, spend the day at Festival.

Not anymore.

So. I didn't go to OUR Farmer's Market...I went to Salem's! It's much smaller, but I was able to park almost directly in front of it, walk through quickly, find my two Yellow Pear tomato plants for the front porch, and while there, a huge bag of fresh mustard greens. I don't normally eat those raw...
As pretty as they are, they don't agree with me unless they're cooked (tho' they have a lovely little pingy-bite that reminds me of radishes when they're raw, they're easier on my digestive system when cooked). So I froze them. It's actually some work to freeze greens. But with my CSA half-share giving me greens every week (lots of greens!), I'm putting quite a bit of it by.

I'm reminding myself that salads kind of peter out during the hot summer months, so I'd best enjoy the red and green leaf lettuces and mesclun mix now. (Even tho' I do get tired of so many salads!)

Then when I stopped at my local grocer that carries Virginia produce, I found this:
I so adore asparagus. I bought enough to freeze that, too!

The CSA half-share looked much the same as the photo below from last week, so I didn't bother with another picture...You can just scroll down!

I think I'll be having a chef salad tonight.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Local Summer 2009

Since I'm a member of my local CSA for the first time, eating locally is going to be so much easier this year! I've joined up with Farm to Philly and there'll be many more who do this across the country and even the world.

My plan is to get up in decent season every Saturday and head to the Farmer's Market for locally homemade bread and farm fresh eggs. Then I'll be posting every week with photos of my CSA 1/2 veggie and full herb share, as I'd originally planned, but I'm also still thinking about possibly trying to grow TWO (only two) grape tomatoes on my front porch. If I can find a couple of plants that are suitable, the urns on the front porch will do. A huge container garden is completely out of the question, though. We have too many lovely trees - and you know what? For all that I complain about that? It does cut down on the electric bill in the summer, and also in the winter, when all the leaves come off the trees and the sun can finally get through!

So it's all good.

If you want to join in? Just think about what you can do to eat local. Just one meal a week? Or all your salads? Can you pot up some herbs? Grow a tomato plant? Or maybe a whole garden? Just a planter box? Whatever...think about where your food comes from and try new ways to shorten the distance, feed yourself seasonally and from your nearby farms. Your contribution will not just make you healthier, it'll make the earth healthier. It will support local agriculture, something that's critical, especially in hard economic times. And just maybe, you'll save some money in the bargain!

Snag a copy of the blog button over there (or the others on Farm to Philly's site, I had a hard time deciding as the larger button is so pretty!) - and please save to your own server. Then post weekly and let everyone know how you're doing?

And while you're over there in the sidebar? Please note that I'm also doing the Ravelry Garden Along 2009? Norma started it all last year. I had to join up again. We Vermont grrls gotta stick together! It's in the blood...(okay, I'm a transplanted Vermont grrl...trans-"planted" - get it? wink To the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia from the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CSA! It's Begun!

This week, since it's been so rainy, I understand that it's been difficult to get into the garden (I do remember those days!), so volume is down.

You see above one large head of green leaf lettuce, two small heads of red Oak leaf lettuce, a bag of "mixed greens" or what I recognize as mesclun mix, shallots, two of the four radishes (sorry, I ate two in my salad tonight!). What you don't see is the small "mess" of spinach that I blanched and froze. My system won't tolerate this many greens this quickly. I figured I'd appreciate the frozen spinach in the winter, just fine...

And I understand that bok choy is coming next week - I found a great recipe for stir-fried baby bok choy here and I think it sounds yummy...

So tonight? I had a huge salad (I already had some grape tomatoes to add to it) and because I stopped at the Co-op to pick up my CSA bag, I also ran by their prepared entrees and got two Tai Tuna Burgers (a staple at the Happy Belly Deli in our Natural Foods Co-op). When they make more than they sell, they put them in the refrigerator case to buy and take home. The Deli closes before I get off work, so this is perfect! I've also found some delightful Macrobiotic meals already prepared and have enjoyed those, too, but there were none tonight.

My plan is to eat as much of the fresh food from the CSA as I can, freeze (and possibly can) what is more than I can handle, and of course share some with my daughter's family. I know the turnips will be going to her - my grandson loves them!

After dinner, I quickly froze the spinach, then made ice tea (the long way) and got everything in the kitchen ready for tomorrow, lunch packed, coffee ready to brew. And cleaned out the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator - It's going to get a bit more use this summer!