Common Ground has teamed up with Turning Point Farm this season to help CSA members find interesting ways to enjoy their shares. Even if you’re not a CSA member, we think you’ll find lots of useful information in these posts about seasonal veggies you’re likely to encounter at farmers markets and in stores. Let us know what you think!
Chard, Celery, eggplant, sweet peppers, green beans, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, summer squash, tomatoes.
When you subscribe to a CSA, one of the first things you realize is that there is a certain amount of work involved when you receive your weekly or bi-weekly share.
Your vegetables need attention. They need to be trimmed and stored, sorted and considered. And then there’s all of the deciding. What can you do with that chard, that celery? How can you use those peppers?
Maybe we look at our box and see one more chore at the end of a long day. Yes, we love the veggies, but we don’t love the work.
Consider this: there’s work involved with going to the supermarket or the farmers market, too.
Most of us are so habituated to the process of supermarket shopping we don’t give it much thought. But going to the store doesn’t spare us the work, or the deciding, about our food. We’re just doing those things in a different order than we do with our CSA share.
With store shopping, we typically decide what we want and go buy it. With a CSA, we get what’s in the box, and we go from there.
In other words, it’s turned around. And so we need to turn our thinking around with it.
We start with the box.
In this week’s box, for example, we have all the makings of ratatouille, that quintessential summer dish of tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and eggplant. Bonus: it’s a one-pot meal.
There’s an abundance of sweet green peppers. Let’s do something Tex-Mex with those.
And we can have cucumber salad at least twice. Nice.
So maybe instead of you trying to decide what to do with all those vegetables, let your box do some of the deciding for you. Rather than starting with “What on earth do I make with all this?” try starting with, “What goes with what in this week’s box?”
Really, you can’t fail. That’s what’s so great about seasonal eating: things that grow together tend to go together.