The Millers, who are the very nice organic livestock farmers we’ve enjoyed buying meat from for several years now, are the ones who organized our CSA. This week, instead of picking up our CSA boxes at the growers’ farm, we went up to the Millers’ to get them and to meet the growers and other CSA participants at a potluck. Everyone brought something to share, and we had a very lovely evening getting to know each other and talk about our CSA participation.
The potluck was really fun. The Amish women brought an amazing selection of homebaked breads, butter, jams, cookies, and brownies. There was a creamy bean casserole, a fresh pasta salad, homemade noodles, and “beet chili”- basically beet preserves, which tasted a heck of a lot like strawberry jam. (Delicious on homemade bread, let me tell you!) The Millers made brisket, so soft you didn’t even need a knife, and it fell right off your fork so you really didn’t need one of those, either. I brought potato salad made with my own blue potatoes and a few jars of jam and apple butter from last season. Someone else made a purple-cabbage salad and decorated it with nasturtium flowers (the girls thought that was fantastic, since we also put our nasturtiums in salads). I think there were other dishes, too, but that’s what I can remember at the moment.
We introduced ourselves and, over plates of great food, talked for about participating in a CSA, both from the consumer perspective (someone said it would be very helpful if the more “mysterious” vegetables might be labeled, so the less-herbivoracious among us knew what they were) as well as from the growers’ angle (the late tomato blight is really hitting them hard and they’ve had to resort to using some non-organic fungicides to protect their farms from this devastating disease). It was really nice to meet some of the other consumers and share recipes and food ideas, too.
Many folks in the CSA joined because they felt it was a more economical way to get organic produce. While a share was not inexpensive ($500 for the 25-odd week season), it probably is a considerable savings if I tried buying each item separately in the organic section of my supermarket. There is the reality that I would probably NOT buy things like kale or broccoli, so getting them in my weekly box isn’t really a savings since I wouldn’t buy them anyway. But getting things like kale and broccoli and unusual varieties of other vegetables is part of the fun of a CSA, so I’m not complaining.
And, of course, we picked up our boxes.
This week there were:
- a large bunch of very large carrots (about 2 pounds total)
- four medium red tomatoes
- a pint of cherry tomatoes
- a quart of peaches
- a quart of green beans
- three green bell peppers
- a pair of eggplants
I’m not a big connoisseur of eggplant, but am excited to try it. Perhaps breaded and fried. The carrots look fabulous and will likely go in soup. S5 will demolish the cherry tomatoes, and both girls will take care of our share of the peaches.