Friday, June 19, 2009

No room in the fridge

Thursdays are vege box days during the summer. Our family is a member of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. This means that we have bought a share of a farm for the summer -- and in return for our money, we get a big box full of fresh, organically-grown local fruits and vegetables every week. The boxes began the first week in June, and this is what was in our first box:

Starting from the top left: spring onions, chives, radishes, asparagus, mesclun. From the bottom left: two heads of leaf lettuce, a collection of onions stored from last fall's harvest, a bag of black beans from last fall, and a large bag of spinach leaves. The rhubarb had already made it's way into the freezer, and the dried basil was already in the herb cupboard.

Opening up the box every week is like opening a treasure chest. This week's box we had strawberries, lettuce, mesclun, spinach, cilantro, asparagus, kohlrabi, radishes and bok choy. It's almost more than we can eat. We have a salad with dinner nearly every night these days, and with the arrival of kohlrabi and bok choy, stir fries will be popping up on the weekly menu pretty regularly from now on.

But these boxes of lovely, delicious veges do present us with a problem: refrigerator space. Every Thursday I have a heck of time trying to cram everything in there. And on days when I pick up our five gallons of fresh milk from the farm, it becomes even more difficult. Bag of carrots? They can stay on the counter for a few days. Bottle of juice? Better drink that up this afternoon. Pickles and relish? Again, the countertop.

My husband says we should get a bigger fridge. I say we'd just fill that one up too. I'd get eight gallons of milk at a time and make more cheese. We'd have six dozen eggs in there instead of just three. Kinda like moving into a bigger home, it doesn't take long before you've filled up all the new space.

But this problem of space is a small price to pay for the extraordinary fresh, healthy, tasty food we are able to eat. My mother has a old, framed cross stitch sampler hanging above her kitchen door that reads 'May we always be blessed with plenty.' Well, we are verily blessed. In more ways than we can count.


Karen said...

Very impressive, little sister. So, is your goal to grow these vegies yourself? And when does that cow arrive??? I"m sure you guys will be self-sufficient in a coupla years!! I'll continue to trudge to the grocery store to buy pesticide/herbicide loaded food with lots of preservatives!!!

Karen said...

I just reread my comment and thought it came across as sarcastic...didn't mean to be though! Your determination to feed your family the best is a worthy goal!!!

Jo said...

My goal is to grow as many veges as is feasibly possible, given the constraints of time, talent, kids, cooking, laundry, job, energy, etc. This year I am using the vege boxes for fresh eating and will probably do a lot of canning/freezing/preserving from the garden. I'll talk about this more in today's post (if I find time to do it)!

Oh - and there are CSA's available in the Twin Cities. I'd be happy to do some research for you, if you're interested.

Love ya!

Karen said...

I would have no idea what to do with those veggies that you received!! A few I could figure out, but what do you do with black beans???

Jo said...

At this point, we have done nothing with them. I too am at a loss with many things. I have to scour my cookbooks to find a recipe. Things like kohlrabi and eggplant. Never tried them until they came in the box.

We'll probably use them in a salsa recipe this summer. A good black bean & corn salsa, like 'Tastefully Simple' makes. That's one idea I have.

Some things (like edamame and cilantro) just go right to the chickens.

Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

Not a fan of edamame? I like them steamed with kosher salt and an ice cold beer.Sushi bar style. But they are also good in salads.

Jo said...

Hey Rick! I guess I need to be more worldly. Never been to a sushi bar. If we get more edamame this summer I will give them another go. I'll skip the beer, though. Never been a beer drinker. Will iced tea work?