csa

An Open Love Letter to My CSA

Why do I love it so? Because it treats me like a princess and I’m all about that.

Seriously. First, this CSA delivers, as in to your door. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not that princess-y that I can’t pick up my own farm share – I have done so for years now and I liked doing it, but I love this. Every Sunday delivered to my door is a sturdy waxed produce box. It is pretty and delicious all the way through (except the box, I give that back so they can fill it up for next week). Second, I am all about the food and my no-cook summer – this has been a huge help – and I haven’t even ordered from the pre-made dinners from Graze which would really be no-cook (or at least no prep).

graze CSA delivers strawberries, too capability mom blog

 

 

 

 

What comes in my CSA?

July:

The strawberries were so delicious and ripe that we finished them in an afternoon. Tremendous.

My CSA is all about surprises, too. One week we got a dozen farm fresh eggs that I didn’t know were coming and a copy of the magazine La Cucina Italiana – I’m sure the Dazzling Strawberry Desserts featured are wonderful recipes. Maybe we can save some next time…

Garlic ramps (I forget what to do with these each year – had to Google it), gorgeous red leaf lettuce and two perfect bags of baby greens and arugula (love these), cucumbers, beets (all for me and roasting right now in foil in the toaster oven – that almost counts as not cooking), the greens (kale, chard) which I also need ideas on how to make, a quart of strawberries, a dozen eggs, and a beautifully wrapped bunch of basil with roots in tact so I can put it in water. Done.

August:

Turnips, more beets, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce and today a cantaloupe that may not make it to dinner. I love to make Smitten Kitchens’ Ratatouille’s Ratatouille with some of this bounty. The rest gets tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled. Easy side dish and minimal cleanup.

If you have any ideas for no-cook or almost no cook, chime in! I could use the help. Meanwhile my husband is grilling (no cooking for me, anyway) …ribs, corn and asparagus for dinner served with a gorgeous salad. Yum.

capability mom loves her CSA from Graze vermont Rockville Market Farm
Rockville Market Farm Keen’s Greens from Graze Vermont CSA

Farm Share by Graze Vermont

A Camp With A Purpose and It’s Green, too.

sunflowers lands sake weston post capability mom

Hail to the Pollinators Pastel, Larry Grob Land's Sake Farm Weston MA
Hail to the Pollinators, Larry Grob

Green Power Camp – Land’s Sake Farm in Weston

This summer has been full of surprises, not all good, like the blue green algae on the Charles that cancelled my daughter’s sailing classes (okay, postponed them). On short notice, she needed a Plan B. Enter Teenlife.com (a great resource we have used time and again) and I pulled up a link to Land’s Sake (another family favorite for pick your own flowers, berries and veggies).

Here is the description from Land’s Sake:

The Green Power Summer Youth Program at Land’s Sake farm is focused on learning about sustainable agriculture, food justice, and community through hard work. This work includes weeding, planting and harvesting on our organic farm, leading farm tours, maintaining our education garden, community service and cooking a community meal. In addition to being a great learning opportunity, Green Power teaches the value of meaningful work by giving participants the chance to earn a stipend from the work they do at the farm. Join Land’s Sake and work hard while having fun!

Here is the dirt (pun intended) from the first teen’s week.

Monday: The teens got to know each other, learned about taking care of small animals (goats and chickens), and harvested part of the garlic crop. Messy work. My teen was covered with a soft brown dusting of dirt and really happy about it, too. We still have fresh garlic.

Tuesday: The group traveled to Jamaica Plain to Community Servings to help prepare meals for chronic and critically ill patients and their families. Land’s Sake farmers donated collard greens which were packaged that day as well. They listened to a podcast of Michael Pollan on NPR on the drive there and back. Did I say I love this camp?

Wednesday (the Fourth of July): They harvested bok choy, peas, and carrots for a CSA to be delivered to low income families through a partnership between Horizons for Homeless Children and Community Servings.

Thursday: They were leaders during the Kid’s Café Program. This program enables kids from Greater Boston Boys and Girls Clubs to come out to the farm. The teen campers took them around the farm – garden, chickens, bees, the magic tree, goats and going for a ride on the bicycle-blender!).

Friday: Chef Ellen Touart-Grob helped to plan, cook, and serve up a delicious farm-inspired meal including Chilled Pea Soup, Fresh Summer Rolls, and Herbed Pop-overs!

Doesn’t this sound wonderful? The program also pays the teens a percentage of the profit from Land’s Sake farm stand based on quality of their work through week. Love that, too.

Teen 2 is going to this camp next and I will fill you in on her week.

I forgot to add that I received a hand-written note in the mail, thanking me for sending my child to the camp from the new Executive Director of Land’s Sake, Ed Barker (and it was on a gorgeous pastel of the beehives of the farm. Really). I wanted to write a thank you note for the thank you note, but you know where that leads. So I will write it here.

 

Dear Mr. Baker,

As a mom of two teen girls, we have been in some pretty terrific camps over the years, but none so wonderful as the camp at Land’s Sake. The program is thoughtfully planned, wonderfully executed and combines good values, community service, education, work, fresh air and fun.

I have never received a handwritten thank you note from one of them. I applaud your lovely camp program, your wonderful staff, your fantastic farm and your good manners.

With great appreciation,

 

Nancy Brown

 

Healthy Recipes – Comfort Food Recipes at WomansDay.com

Okay, the last time I read Woman’s Day magazine was probably at the dentist’s or my  mom’s house but it looks like I might have to check it out again. This article gives some really interesting healthy recipes from food bloggers – I am posting here for you (because I am that nice) but really as a way to book mark it so I don’t forget where I put it. I am struggling to come up with healthy meals this summer, despite (or maybe because of) the surplus of veggies at my disposal. Every other week I get a farm share and the farmer’s market has been filled with gorgeous fruits and vegetables that I want to try but sometimes I don’t know what to do with them except put them in a salad…I know, but it has been hot and cooking something yo know how to make is one thing, learning a new recipe is much more time consuming. I am glad for this new resource…check it out. Also, the article links to a bunch of food blogs I hadn’t yet found!

Healthy Recipes – Comfort Food Recipes at WomansDay.com. Here from Verbatim is a great local resource – a CSA that solves my weekly dilemma of  veggie surplus.

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