Monday, September 14, 2009

CSA Pickup

Our family joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this year.   We split a full share at Stillman's Farm with our neighbors across the street.  From the end of June through the end of October, I pick up a large box of vegetables and fruits weekly and divide the bounty with my neighbor.  Earlier in the season, we received loads of dark green leafy vegetables, beets a-plenty, and glorious berries.  As the season has progressed, we continue to receive delicious diverse produce.

Perhaps more importantly, my family has learned so much in just one season.  Aaron and I have learned new recipes; Caleb and Ellie have learned where food really comes from.  I think we all appreciate just how much work really goes into providing nourishment for ourselves and each other.

Monday is our pick up day, so after the kids napped today, we made the trip to the pick up site.  Our share of the box today included:

  • Dinosaur kale
  • beans of some kind
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 onions
  • 3 corn
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 6 apples
  • 2 pears
  • 1 peaches - neighbor got 2 this time
  • basil
  • lettuce to neighbor because we have plenty
It's a bit overwhelming at first, but we have a bit of a groove with how to get through the food in one week.  The fruit is a no-brainer.  It gets eaten anytime - breakfast, snacks, Caleb's preschool lunch, after dinner when we're trying to avoid junk food.  With 6 apples this time, I could make applesauce, but I think I'm going to wait until we go apple picking in another week or two.  What about all those veggies though?  How do I get my kids to eat them?
Tonight's dinner attempted to use up some of last week's CSA veggies.  Check out this recipe for Curried Chickpeas and Kale.  I honestly didn't know if my kids would touch it.  Both kids like Indian food, but neither kid has taken to cooked kale.  I made a side of mashed potatoes and made a mock-naan with garlic buttered whole wheat pita toasted in the oven.  I knew they would eat one of those sides.  No, potatoes and bread do not a healthy meal make, but I planned ahead and made sure the rest of the day is more balanced.  I offered up scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and zucchini bread at breakfast.  Lunch was leftover tomato soup (thank you Trader Joe's!) and leftover pasta casserole (thank you dear husband Aaron!).  Both kids had Trader Joe's fruit bars as a quick snack after nap before CSA pick up. 
But guess what?
Yes, the kids LOVED it.  We told Caleb it was like "dipping sauce" from the Indian restaurant, and he ate it up, asked for more, and told me that it was delicious and would I please send it to school with him tomorrow?  Ellie showed a preference for mashed potatoes, but she also ate up the curry dish when I mixed it with her potatoes.  The only mistake to the meal tonight was not making a double recipe.

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