Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Making the Most Out of Your CSA

Its that time again and I am excited!!!

CSA!


As I have mentioned before, I am participating in a local CSA this year (my second year). CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, basically a family buys a "share" of a farm each year and from that "share" gets a portion of crop each week. My family is using a local farm called Signal Mountain Farm, but there are many many others all over the country.  Most of these farms interact with shareholders through farmers markets, farms, or even through organic grocery stores. They cost around $500-$900 per season for a full share. Many families have half of share (usually half the price).

This year we paid for a full share $800, and split it with another couple. This has been a tremendous amount of food and difficult because a lot of the veggies I have never heard of. One of the many reasons people drop out from the program is because they don't know what to do with all food. If you are patient and are willing to put some extra time in- a CSA is great way to eat healthy and save money.

This was the produce of ONE full Share.



That's right. 50 Tomatoes, 15 ears of corn, 20 peppers, kale, turnip greens, collards, lettuce, apples, squash, and potatoes. YIKES! How do you use all of that before it goes bad? Here are some tips to help you out if you are struggling to use your CSA share of the week.

Tomatoes.

Can or freeze. Make some crock-pot tomatoes sauce, put into bags and freeze.  (I did this earlier this year see here and here for the results). Also if you want to learn how to can whole tomatoes, I recommend this site. This does take some time, but it will be worth the savings.

Corn.

If you have too many ears to eat in one week, cook the corn and cut off the kernels. Than place in a Ziploc and freeze. They keep a while and are great to add to salsa, stir fry, and tacos.

Peppers.

Peppers freeze so well. Wash the peppers, remove stem and seeds. Slice into strips and freeze. There are also amazing in stir fry and tacos! (Make sure you freeze according to kind of pepper, for example keep a bag of bell peppers and a separate bag of hot peppers).

Kale.

Kale is hard to find a use for. And for some people it is really bitter. If you don't like it steamed or in a stir fry, try this amazing Casserole. Kale works really well with scrambled eggs and cheese.

Kolrabbi.

I have never heard of this veggies until I placed it in my hand. Its so weird. But amazing. Make sure you PEEL it. That is the most important part. This year I enjoyed the Kolrabbi in Empanadas. They tasted amazing!

Chard.

Chard is amazing in stir fry and in anything with pasta. Like a lasagna and a marinara sauce.



It is challenging but totally worth it! For other tips and recipes checkout Signalmountainfarm.blogspot.com . And to find a farmshare in your area checkout: http://www.localharvest.org/

Where do you get your fresh veggies from?


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