Checking it out: Sampling a CSA

I’ve heard great things about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and this past weekend, I got the chance to try one out first-hand. Dear friends of ours had to make an unexpected trip out-of-town and asked if we’d like their share for the week. And, of course, I was more than willing to stand in as a pseudo-CSA member. We skipped our typical farmer’s market trip and swung by pick-up instead.

The produce came from Urbanna Farms, which is about an hour’s drive from Savannah. We attend the same church as the farmer and his family so it was nice to see familiar faces at pick up. They run a great blog detailing life on the farm and even give recipes for that week’s loot. At Urbanna Farms, they grow crops without the use of chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. I find this incredible as we can hardly get our little garden to grow without the use of toxins. And let me tell you, there was a LOT of food at pick-up.

So, here’s what I got this week as a stand-in CSA member:

– potatoes
– lemon cucumbers (the little round guys in the front)
– soya cucumbers (that grow in these awesome curly shapes)
– dinosaur kale
– yellow squash
– zucchini
– lots and lots of tomatoes (which are not photographed as they were sunning on our picnic table)

After two days, we’ve barely put a dent in the vegetables.

Where have all this week’s vegetables visited? Consider this the CSA Flat Stanley.

We’ve been eating the lemon cucumbers in slices with a dash of salt – delicious. They taste a little different from a traditional green cucumber – maybe a bit lighter? A crisper flavor? The size is perfect to give all four of us a small snack.

Hubs sliced a soya cucumber (which are HUGE) and tossed it in white vinegar, salt and a dash of pepper. After about 24 hours in the refrigerator, we have some tasty pickled cukes that the girls love. I like to add a dash of sugar to mine because I’m just not sweet enough.

I used about half of a rather large zucchini to make this zucchini bread recipe. This time, I added carrot to the mix, substituted coconut oil for the vegetable oil and omitted the nuts. I think the coconut oil made the bread too gooey and I had to cook it for about an hour and 10 minutes – far longer than 45 minutes like last time. I’m thinking that coconut oil must not substitute in 1:1. But after a marathon bake, the bread was still moist and tasted just as good as last time.

For tonight’s dinner, I roasted a chicken with onions, carrots, the CSA potatoes and a seasoning packet. The potatoes were a great size. I didn’t need to peel them so after a good scrubbing, I quartered the larger ones and tossed in the small, marble-sized ones whole.

Best chicken recipe ever, thanks to my mother-in-law!

What adventures are in store for the rest of the produce?

We haven’t used most of the tomatoes yet but I see some fried green tomatoes in our near future. The red ones will most likely be made into salsa or added to Green Chili, Chicken & Lime soup.

I’ve heard murmurings about kale chips so I may try my hand at making them tomorrow. If I run out of time, kale is great for juicing and my Jack La Lanne is itchin’ to go for a spin.

I’m pretty boring when it comes to yellow squash and zucchini. We typically slice it and toss it on the grill or saute it stove top.

Want more information on CSAs and how they work? Check out this and this.

Want to find a CSA near you? Right here!

For more information on Urbanna Farms specifically, click here.

Sorry for the lackluster photos; I was lazy and my iPhone is so.much.easier.

Have you ever tried a CSA? Would you?

Any other tasty squash recipes? Any experiencing subbing with coconut oil?

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3 thoughts on “Checking it out: Sampling a CSA

  1. I drove my relatives crazy with Flat Stanley requests from my kids! That is a funny idea though to tie it to a CSA. I also love those lemon cukes but haven’t received them this year. If you still have a lot of tomatoes, I put a roasting recipe on my blog this week that is really good.

  2. Made this delicious zucchini squash past last night…modified it a bit, didn’t use the cream cheese, added sliced celery and used carrot linguini. So good a good way to use up those veggies: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/zucchini-pasta-ii/
    Also, I like to sauté squash & zucchini in olive oil with italian seasoning, onions, garlic and chopped tomatoes, then mix with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a baking dish and bake until golden brown & bubbly!

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