The new “Inner Circle” – How my CSA has changed

As I mentioned once upon a time, my farmer decided to change his CSA.  Rather than a weekly box of surprise vegetables and an “Iron Chef” type challenge, now we get to choose what is in our box.  I saw a post on the Farm Aid website the other day by someone similarly stunned by the end of his meat CSA.

My farmer requires a minimum order of $20/week if you want to pre-order, rather than just show up at the farmer’s market and purchasing; in exchange we get a discount of 20% off the market price.  Since my old CSA worked out to just $18/week, now I only order every two weeks.

That is "lovage" (luv-ahj) in front of the rhubarb.  It smells like celery and is surprisingly variable.

That is “lovage” (luv-ahj) in front of the rhubarb. It smells like celery and is surprisingly variable.

To keep the challenge element in our week, my daughter and I had decided I had to choose one item each box with which we were unfamiliar.  I have tried that, somewhat.  We bought lovage the first week.  But we are still using our lovage, and there hasn’t been much too unusual on our pick list, so not much strange, so far.

I have sprinkled lovage on pizza, added it to Kirsten’s Beef & Bok Choy Pie, and used it to season pan drippings gravy for pot roast.  All were very nice; it adds a delicate flavor boost that seems very sophisticated.  I think it would be good in creamy soups and salad dressing.

What we have been able to do under this new system, is order a large quantity of one vegetable that I focus on for the week.  For example, the first box this spring, I ordered extra asparagus to combine with the several lbs of asparagus after the last two weeks of my winter CSA, and we pickled asparagus.

Two weeks later, the featured veggie was rhubarb.  We made rhubarb crisp, rhubarb compote (great for serving over ice cream, or mixing into oatmeal) and a strawberry rhubarb pie.

The next order, we got 3 lbs of purple asparagus and pickled purple asparagus (say THAT 3 times fast!) to complement our green pickled asparagus; which is ready to eat and turned out FABULOUS by the way.  🙂

IMG_1381

This week, I ordered three lbs. of strawberries to combine with our volunteer strawberries and I am going to re-make the Strawberry Black Pepper and Mint Jam from last year – with all the sugar this time.

Macerating Strawberries

Macerating Strawberries

Thank you to everyone still following my little blog.  I went back to work in May after my surgery and have been completely exhausted at the end of each day, and had too much to do on the weekends to have time to blog.

Our family likes the blog as an archive of what we are doing and the food we love, (although the kids want more desserts for out troubles ;).  I love the satisfaction I feel tying together healthy food, with local and small business and the well-being of my family.

We haven’t given up and I still follow you as well.  I am going to try Heather’s tomato pesto as soon as my tomatoes are ripe (I’ve been wanting to try it, but Kirsten’s description recently of licking the food processor bowl put it on my MUST TRY list for sure!

Happy Wednesday!

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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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7 Responses to The new “Inner Circle” – How my CSA has changed

  1. Ordering a large quantity of one veg is just like having a glut in the garden and makes for plenty of inventive cooking – I’m not surprised you have little time to blog.

  2. Tammy says:

    I think it’s terrific that you realize your blog is a way of documenting your family history. It will be something that you and your family can enjoy for years to come. Good luck with the CSA change.

    • I agree! Plus, I’ve gone back to your apple cake recipe a couple of times to make it. So glad you’re back at blogging. Really missed the updates!! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next. susan

  3. gardenjon says:

    I think that’s a great system for the CSA, it probably leads to less wasted food!

  4. You know, as much as I like the Iron Chef challenge, I’d also like to be able to get a little extra to put up. I know I can make repeated tiny batches of jams, but it would be easier just to do it all at once.
    Thanks for the mentions, and thanks for the link to Farm Aid–from there I found HomeGrown and that’s new to me. I’m still looking for places to share my recipes where folks looking to maximize their CSA box will find them. Appreciate it!

  5. I just love asparagus: white, green, purple; it’s all fantastic to me. I think it’s clever to bulk up on one item so you can freeze it or process it in one big batch. Smart thinking.

  6. Pingback: Garden bowls (Introducing the Garden Project) | the healthy project

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