Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Harvest Share - CSA

What is a CSA ?   "Community Supported Agriculture" (CSA) is a model of food production, sales, and distribution aimed at connecting local farmers with local consumers. 

Members of a CSA pledge financial support towards the farm's seasonal operating budget at the beginning of the season when the money is needed most.  This helps with the financial pressures farmers have and allows them to focus on the fine points of growing good food for the membership.  In return for their investment, members ensure that they have access to a weekly portion of the harvest.  Becoming a member of a CSA creates a responsible relationship between people and the food they eat, the land on which it is grown and those who grow it. 

This is the first time I am a CSA member and supporting a local farm close to where I live.  This farm uses organic and biodynamic practices.  Once a week I can pick up my food share at the farm.     It is week 2 into the season and here is a list of vegetables I have brought home:

Mixed Salad Greens
Bok Choi
Sweet Potatoes
Green Garlic
and Pick my own herbs

I try to build our meals around our food share and am learning to cook vegetables that I haven't tried before.    I am learning to be more creative and try to use every bit of the vegetables I get that week.  For instance, I didn't know that radish greens were edible and how tasty they are in soup.   I made this week a delicious creamed radish greens soup (I'll never throw out radish greens again), sweet potato salad (with a curry dressing), spring stir-fry, among other delicious meals.    

Here is the recipe for the Radish Greens Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cups radish greens, chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 green garlic
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup balkan style plain yogurt (I used low fat) / or 1/3 c heavy cream

In large saucepan, heat oil of medium heat, add chopped onion.  Saute, stirring often until onion is soft and translucent.  Add radish greens and wilt, then add stock.  Bring to boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add mint, parsley, salt/pepper to taste.     Remove from heat and puree in blender in small batches.   Stir in yogurt.   Reheat if necessary.  Garnish with chopped chives before serving.

Makes about 6 servings.

Enjoy !

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