Winter CSA Box 9 – Its coming up Greens – the last box before St. Patrick’s Day

We’ve been very busy around here lately, with big changes at work, at home, at school.  We have been cooking, taking notes and photos of how we have used our CSA goodies, but I just have not had the opportunity to sit down at the computer (or the will to kick the 15 year old off the computer), to write.

But when I do find that time, I have some great recipes coming (and a few the kids didn’t care for but I REALLY liked (Mango Banana Mint Smoothies anyone?)

As we head into the final stretch of the Winter CSA, Farmer Al keeps telling us he is running out of goodies to put in our boxes.  😦  In Box 9, we got a few staples from storage:  dried garbanzo beans, shallots, chili peppers, russet potatoes and apples.  From the newer crops we got Swiss chard, with beautiful red and yellow stems, and baby spinach.  Yumm!

Already I have made a garbanzo bean salad. I carmelized some onions with the chopped chard that I was going to use as a condiment, but the next day I turned it into spaghetti sauce, that we later used as pizza sauce.  That is three, count ’em, 3 days of dining on one running recipe that kept getting reinvented day by day.  And no one complained!  🙂  Sweet!

Because he is running out of goodies, we are skipping the next scheduled pick up for Box 10, but he promises to get us three weeks of CSA in April.  He better not be lying to me again….. GRRR.

Although, my farmer did break my heart since my last pick up.  I had been thinking it was time to sign up for the Summer CSA and wondered why we hadn’t received notice yet.  Then he sent an e-mail announcing that he is changing the format of his CSA.  Rather than a weekly box of vegetables of HIS choice, we now will order what we want in advance and he will deliver each box to a local farmer’s market to be picked up weekly.

This has caused a huge identity crisis for me.  Megan at Clean Eats Fast Feets has talked about how the weekly CSA box appeals to her competitive spirit; how can you use what you are allotted without any waste?  I have to agree.  That challenge awakened something in me that appealed to my problem solving skills – forcing me to try whatever it took to use whatever I had before it was wasted.    Before my CSA, each week I would sit down and select four dishes I planned to make for dinner, shopped for ingredients on the weekend and prepared my dishes each evening during the week.  Very orderly, with some wiggle room for the unexpected/ school concert, dinner invitation, lazy order of pizza without too many extra groceries or ingredients that couldn’t be used within the next few days.

With the CSA box in the middle of the week, even with the advance notice of what might be in your, there was always an element of surprise, and panic.  How will we possibly eat three different types of greens before next week?  What is THAT squash and how should it be cooked?  Will the kids even try anything with those peppers in them?  The risk and the adventure made it fun and challenging.  There was less planning on the weekend and more looking at what I had and creating… something….

Left on my own, I am not likely to ever order as many greens, or squashes (squashi my daughter asks?).  The younger lady of the house suggested I can require myself to order at least one unusual type of vegetable each week to kick up the challenge.  But it just seems so…orderly.

Yesterday, I was talking with a friend of mine who lives on Maui (devastating, I know!) and she  joined a CSA (Yea! – CSAmom influence at work!).  She gets to choose what she receives each week and she loves it.  No one is going to tell her what she has to eat!  She gets papayas, avocados and some funky Italian greens she really likes.

I researched the other CSAs in the area, and they too let you choose the produce you take home, so I am going to stick with my farmer and try the new system.  On the upside, the new pick up spot is at a local winery – I am a member of their wine club, so I CAN do a little free wine tasting while I pick up my vegetables each week.  🙂

Hi ya!  Got some veggies in the truck!  :)

Hi ya! Got some veggies in the truck! 🙂

That may cut down on cooking the day I pick up my CSA box.

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About csamom

Living in Eastern Washington State for the past 15 years, I appreciate the wonderful produce we have available here. I am a working mom, with the typical active family. We have two children, a cat, a fish, and a snake.
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5 Responses to Winter CSA Box 9 – Its coming up Greens – the last box before St. Patrick’s Day

  1. Thanks for the shout out. I certainly do love getting fresh with my veggies (pun intended), and the unknown and even moments of alarm (what the hell is this and what do I make with it) certainly appeal to my competitive nature. If I got to pick my veggies ahead of time, well I don’t know what I’d do; it might as well be grocery shopping then, just at the local farm. Although when wine is involved, it can’t be all bad.
    I’m in a similar conundrum. The Hubby will be leaving early August to go back to school…in a DIFFERENT state so if I get my usual CSA, I will probably have way too much produce in August, September and October; if such a thing is possible. I could switch to the new half shares this year which might work out better but our weekly selection will be limited as a result, and I don’t like the sound of the latter. What to do, what to do?
    I can’t wait to see how yours turns out. Good luck.

    • Meghan,
      We can do this large share/small household stuff–you give me ideas, I’ll give you ideas, we’ll put it up. Or give it away.

      Can you rescue some guinea pigs?

    • csamom says:

      Last year when I first signed up for the CSA, the very next week, my husband left to work out of state and the kids went to spend several weeks with their grandmother. I was on my own eating a huge box of vegetables, BY MYSELF! It was like a part time job working vegetables into every meal. Lots of cooked greens in eggs for breakfast and big salads at every meal. I felt great though. 🙂

      At least by August maybe you will be getting more squash and things that aren’t quite so perishable? Or, you need to plan on entertaining a lot and feed all that CSA goodness to friends.

  2. I hear ya on doing the cooking/photos/notes but not the write up. Between the sled hockey and wheelchair basketball tournaments and my folks spending a month down the street, my days are not like they normally are and my writing opportunities are diminished. Which is partly why I’m kinda glad I threw together a bunch of posts for the late winter while I was using up my winter CSA stuff. I’ve got wiggle room for changes, but otherwise I’m good for a while.
    Lucky you with the wine–our old CSA in Virginia would kick off the season with a wine and cheese party at the first pick up (at the farmer’s sister’s home) and it would have been lovely to pause and have some wine throughout the season.
    I don’t know how I’d feel having to choose–I had to the last weeks of our winter CSA, and I got what I knew I’d use, but that was at the tail end of the Surprise! Deal With It In A Week! summer/ fall seasons so I welcomed the change.
    Good luck!

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