Our spring CSA has finally started up! That means winter is over (hopefully) here in Chicago. We have such a long winter and I long for farm fresh foods. I relish that once a week during the spring, summer and fall, I can drive 10 minutes from my house to pick up a CSA share.
This year is even more exciting for Sandhill Organics CSA members. In addition to the fruit, vegetable and egg shares, they have added dairy (pasteurized), meat and trout. I couldn't wait to pick up my farm fresh goodies!
What the heck is a CSA? Great question! It stands for ‘Community Sponsored Agriculture'. Essentially, you buy a share of a farm and in return you get a box of produce each week. Every CSA runs slightly differently, but that is the gist of it! I wrote a whole post about the benefits of a CSA. Check it out if you have more questions!
I am thinking I can try to share what is in my CSA box and tell you what I have made with the produce each week. Hopefully it can give you some ideas of how to use your farm fresh produce and encourage you to participate in a CSA, if you aren't already! If each week is too much, I can scale it down…we shall see!
Anyhoo…when I went last week to pick up my goods, I meant to take a picture of the gorgeous spread.
Alas, it was raining. I was in a hurry. I forgot. Next time!
I will say the early spring shares of vegetables can be a little skimpy only because our season is just getting started. In a few weeks, I will be overloaded in veggies. And in the summer when the fruit share starts up…watch out!
My haul included:
- mixed lettuce
- 2 quarts of tomato puree from last year's crop
- ground beef
- whole chicken
- italian sausage links
- 2 different cheeses
- nonhomogenized yogurt (it is 1% fat though)
- cultured butter
What did I do with all of this goodness? I didn't do much. I was in the middle of a 2 week cleanse (a whole food cleanse…lots of veggies) but didn't feel like cooking like I usually do. I used my vegetables in pretty simple ways but I will still share!
That is one good thing to remember, when you are part of a CSA and get tons of veggies, you don't have to make lots of complicated recipes. Most veggies are delicious raw, in a salad, or lightly steamed or sauteed with a healthy fat and some sea salt. We don't need to make things overly complicated!
- Made salad with the lettuce and radishes
- Sauteed mushrooms in butter as a side dish
- Mixed chopped chives along with some green onions into my cultured sour cream to serve over…
- boiled potatoes. Deliciousness!
- Tomato puree is in the pantry for another day.
- Cultured butter went on everything!
- Yogurt was enjoyed for breakfast and as a snack.
- Cheeses were eaten as a snack but I still have more left for the upcoming week.
- Meat was stored in the freezer for future meals.
- Eggs were enjoyed in smoothies, scrambled and hardboiled. No frittata this week but we usually have a frittata each week.
I can't wait for the next pick up! I will say that I won't get all of this goodness each week. The vegetables and fruit shares are every week. The egg and dairy are every two weeks and the meat share is once a month. I wish they had eggs more often but their egg shares are popular and sell out quick!
Stay tuned for next week when I share What's in my CSA!
Do you participate in a CSA? What did you get in your box this week?