Enter the Summer CSA

Yesterday I picked up our first summer CSA share.  For those of you who are wondering what I'm talking about, CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture.  It's a locally-based model for farming where families or individuals "buy in" to the farm season by paying in advance for a share of the farm's crops (or meat or eggs or cheese).  Each week, a CSA member picks up their share, which includes whatever fruit or vegetables (or meat, eggs, etc) were harvested that week.  Most farms with CSAs also go to farmers markets and distribute to grocery stores and restaurants, but CSAs provide an advance, reliable source of income for farms while allowing people to enjoy food grown in their own community.

We joined a CSA at Jericho Settlers Farm, which is less than five miles from our house.  Talk about local food!

I was expecting something pretty mediocre for this first pick-up because the beginning of the season is often a little sparse.  But our bag was packed with delicious vegetables.  Kale, two heads of red leaf lettuce, pak choi, green onions, broccoli rabe, a bag of mesclun mix, a few new potatoes, and 6 little basil seedlings.

One of the nice things about Jericho Settlers Farm is that they send you an email in advance letting you know what's going to be in your share that week and giving some recipe recommendations.  I pinned their broccoli rabe recommendation, and because I knew I was going to be getting some, I was on the look-out during the week.  Low and behold, Ashley from (never)homemaker posted a delicious-looking photo of broccoli rabe sauteed with white beans that is now competing to be the recipe of choice for the little bunch of broccoli rabe.

As for the rest, there are definitely some salads in my future - looking forward to making some hearty ones with my salad-making guide.  And once I get another bed prepared, I'll plant those in the garden.

So here begins the weekly journey of creative cooking where I try to keep ahead of the vegetables!