Well, here it is. The last Blooming Glen Farm CSA pickup of the season:
I just don't understand how it could be over. What am I going to do without all of this super-tasty, local, fresh, healthy produce in my kitchen every week? I've totally taken this season for granted. I don't even think about how to use the produce anymore. When I get home, I preserve (usually freeze) whatever I won't be able to use within the next week or two and the rest gets incorporated into meals with barely a second thought.
Well that was on the good weeks anyway. There may have been an occasion or two... or maybe several, when something were deposited half-rotten to the compost bin because I couldn't use it in time. But actually, that brings me to an excellent point.
The quantity of produce for the price of a share has been unbelievable. It would be interesting to see an actual price-per-pound, though just a quick glance at the photo album could assure anyone that $780 for 24 weeks of produce is a great deal. I split my share each week with my sister. There are four adults and one child between the two homes, and we were able to stuff ourselves with fresh veggies and fruits every day, and still have enough left over for freezing and canning. It's hard to imagine, but we'll still be enjoying this season's bounty throughout the winter.
Not to mention the fact that the variety of produce was unbeatable and everything was grown naturally and sustainably. By people I know. Oh, and did I mention that we enjoyed fresh flowers more than half those weeks?
Belonging to a CSA definitely requires a bit of extra time and energy, as does any new method or way of doing something. Once that habit is formed though, it really does become second nature. This was my second season at Blooming Glen and already I’ve learned and changed and incorporated so much! Things like…
- how to cook daikon, watermelon, French breakfast, black and regular radishes
- that Swiss Chard on a sandwich is quite tasty
- that yes, children actually can get sick of pick-your-owns
- and yes, so too can parents
- the differences between a sunshine, blue hubbard, delicata, bon bon and butternut winter squash
- that freezing string beans and summer squash is ridiculously easy
- though freezing sweet peppers is sinfully easy
- Trish's secrets to keep flowers producing in the garden and looking beautiful in the vase
- that beets and carrots keep quite a while as long as you remove the greens
- that chopping it up nice and fine and adding it to macaroni recipes is an easy way to get kale into my son's diet
- that there are perhaps a bazillion different varieties of cherry tomatoes
- and that Tom knows every single one of them
- that my family simply cannot not eat an entire head of cabbage before it goes bad
- that watermelon looks just as good in yellow as it does in pink
- what to do with celeriac
- the mystery and romance that is an heirloom tomato
- that simply is the best way to prepare fresh vegetables
- that soccer moms, DINKs, single parents, singletons, yuppies, hippies, teachers, administrators, entrepreneurs, Women Builders, EMTs, corporate CEOs, nonprofit workers and retirees all belong to my CSA
- that green tomatoes are great in stir fries, relishes and salads
- that my sister and I are so literal at times
- how to put up tomatoes
- that greens like turnip, beet and collards are really, really tasty and can be used in everything
- that my son can be bought not only with sweet potatoes, but also sunshine winter squash
- that there are some pretty adorable cows in Perkasie
- the differences between scallions, onions, sweet onions, garlic, garlic scapes, leeks and shallots
- that no matter how hard I try, I will never like radicchio
- that stir fries and scramblers are a CSA member's best friends
- to not peel root vegetables if you can help it
- there is nothing on this planet that tastes better than a just-picked ripe tomato
Sigh. Missing you oh so terribly already, Blooming Glen!
Would you like to get melodramatic over produce, too? Find a CSA farm near you at Local Harvest!
> Cross-posted at www.farmtophilly.com.