Tag Archives: MY CSA Experience

WHAT I’M DOING WITH THE SHARE PRODUCE

My personal CSA “box” challenge for this week:

OREGANO: with such a bounty of oregano, I am going to freeze half of it and and dehydrate the other half.  To freeze, fill ice cube tray wells 2/3 full with herbs, pour in extra virgin olive oil to cover, freeze over night, then remove to freezer bags and store in the freezer.
SPINACH:  A salad, of course, a soup, and a smoothie
KALE: Ah! I do love kale. There isn’t really that much, so I will probably make massaged marinated kale, and throw in some of kohlrabi leaves for good measure.
SUGAR SNAP PEAS : I’ll just have these for a snack. They are already in my bag to go to work today.
 KOHLRABI: I’m going to make kohlrabi ravioli with jalapeno smoked cheeze – I’ll just slice the kohlrabi on the mandoline, add a dab of the cheeze, fold over, and pop in my mouth.
GARLIC SCAPES: I’ll finely chop some and add them to the kale, then make a little garlic scape pesto with some of them, to eat over zucchini “pasta”.
RHUBARB: I know I’ll be making a strawberry/rhubarb smoothie or two, and I will likely halve the strawberry/rhubarb pie recipe

MORE RECIPES FOR PRODUCE IN THIS SHARE

RHUBARB
RAW STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SMOOTHIE
RAW STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SMOOTHIE #2
SIMPLE RHUBARB SMOOTHIE (Rhubarb Smoothie #3)
RAW RHUBARB COMPOTE
RAW VEGAN STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE

KOHLRABI
You can simply chop up kohlrabi and add it to any salad you are making, or you can thinly slice it on a mandolin and use two slices to make a ravioli with nut cheeze (it will stick together), or you can use one of these recipes
FERMENTED RAW JALAPENO-GARLIC DILL KOHLRABI
KOHLRABI APPLE SLAW
KOHLRABI BEET CARROT SALAD
QUICK AND EASY RAW KOHLRABI PICKLES
KOHLRABI RAWVIOLI WITH PINE NUT CHEEZ
KOHLRABI CHOPPED SALAD
WHAT TO DO WITH KOHLRABI LEAVES

KALE
You can just tear kale leaves and use them in a salad, either alone, or with other greens, or you can try out some of these recipes . One of my favorite recipes is marinated kale mixed with wakame seaweed (or a seaweed mix), and other basic salad ingredients (onion, bell pepper, sprouts, garlic, etc) with sesame oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.
KALE CHIPS – TWO KINDS
THAI GREEN CURRY KALE CHIPS
CASHEW KALE CHEEZE ON TOMATO SLICES
SESAME KALE AND WALNUT/KALE PESTO
WHAT TO DO WITH GREENS (KALE/COLLARDS/SPINACH/TURNIP GREENS/BEET GREENS/KOHRABI GREENS, ETC)

SPINACH
CASHEW SPINACH CHEEZE ON TOMATOES
RAW TOMATO SPINACH SOUP

GARLIC SCAPES
GARLIC SCAPE PESTO

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6/17/14 CSA SHARE: What I got in my new Corbin Hill Food Project CSA Share

POST #1015
I honestly did not know what to expect from Corbin Hill Food Project, my new CSA. I had, correctly, guessed that the distribution would be held in the Community Food Pantry space, but, beyond that, it was anybody’s guess how it would go.

I’d say they are pretty well-organized: going into the building, you have to pass a fierce woman at the desk (she is a food pantry employee, probably used to people trying to do things the wrong way, and she was probably working extra hours that she didn’t want), and be checked off. Then you go downstairs right away (no waiting whatsoever), where you are greeted by greeters, one of whom checks off your name again – she did explain to me that the sign over the peas said 1 and that meant I could take 1 (I felt I was pretty clever to have figured that out moments before she told me — they seem to trust members, to just take their allotment).

There is  a trade box, where you can put something you don’t want in and take something you do want, if you see it there, but, the way the distribution is arranged, I would imagine that most people don’t take anything from the bin if they don’t want it, i.e., they just leave it in the bin (I did find a small bunch of oregano in the share box, to trade my lettuce for, and they let me trade it for a larger bunch from the bin).

At the end of the circuit, there was a nice lady who was preparing rhubarb chutney, and we chatted for a while, while she chopped vegetables and stirred them in the electric frying pan she had there.

So… what we got was pretty much what they had said, except that there were garlic scapes in place of the parsnips. I like parsnips, but I do like garlic scapes quite a bit, so I was not really disappointed.

Here is what we got in the VEGETABLE SHARE:
1 bun Oregano
1 big head Lettuce
2 bun Spinach
1 bun Kale
1 bag Sugar SnapPeas
1 med Kohlrabi
1 bun Garlic Scapes
1 bun Rhubarb (6 2ft long stalks!)

I also got a fruit share, which consisted of a 1 lb box of large, fragrant strawberries, and another bunch of rhubarb! ( I guess I will have to chase down some rhubarb recipes, what with all this rhubarb)

Later, I will post the recipes I plan to prepare with this bounty (actually, I mean to go to the Food Pantry tomorrow afternoon (I am curious as to whether the CHFP CSA donates shares not picked up to the Food Pantry). With luck, I may get some more vegetables to add to the proverbial pot.

FIRST SHARE AT CORBIN HILL FOOD PROJECT: What they say we will get

I’m excited. Tomorrow I will pick up my first CSA share from Corbin Hill Food Project. This CSA is completely new to me, so I don’t know exactly how they will do, so I am going to make an effort to be there when they open up at 4:30 (shares can be picked up between 4:30 and 7:00).  Will there be a mob scene at the door at 4:30?  Who knows.  I will get there about 3:30, to get in line for the Supper Club, and then, if it looks like there’s going to be a mob scene for the CSA pick-up, I’ll just put everything from the Supper Club in containers to bring home . I’ll report back with my experience tomorrow night.

HERE IS WHAT THEY SAY WE WILL GET (for a number of years, I was a member of a CSA related to Golden Earthworm Farms. Often they would say were going to get something, but we didn’t, so, out of habit, I’m saying what they said, and I’ll report back tomorrow with the true “get”)

Oregano
Lettuce
Spinach
Kale
Peas (English or sugar snap)
Radishes, Kohlrabi, or Zucchini
Parsnips
Rhubarb

FRUIT SHARE
Parsnips
Strawberries

I have signed up for a “medium” share, but I’m going to try to see what the “large” share looks like.

Tomorrow, when I get back with my booty, I’ll let you know  what this CSA is really like

MY NEW CSA – YOU CAN STILL SIGN UP HERE

The history of Pretty Smart Raw Food Ideas is directly tied to my first venture into CSAs.  Some years back, I saw an announcement for a CSA a couple of blocks from my home, and I signed up right away.  As CSAs often deliver vegetables folks have never seen before, I began to hear people asking what they should do with what they had received in the box.    Me? Being raw, I just went on-line, found out about the vegetable in question, and then started experimenting.  People started asking me for recipes.  I asked the CSA if we couldn’t have a way to publish recipes for the benefit of the members. They poo-poo’d my idea.  My blog was born the next day, with raw recipes for the vegetables I found in my box. 

Now, I have found  a CSA which allows you to casually  join whenever you find out about it, and allows you to pay by the week.  (I have had to leave that first CSA because they require an up front payment which I could not manage).  I’m telling you this because, if you have thought about a CSA, but didn’t sign up for one in the spring (most CSAs require you to sign up before May), there is a CSA that you can still join.

Corbin Hill Food Project is a CSA that works with local farmers to provide low cost organic vegetables and fruit (and other products, as add-ons), mostly in low-income neighborhoods (that doesn’t mean that you can’t join if you are not low-income – it just means that you might have to travel a bit).  The beauty of this CSA is that you can sign up at any time during CSA season (summer to fall), and, if, for any reason, you cannot receive your share the next week (for example: you will be away, or you can’t afford it), you can put your share on hold, simply by notifying them a week in advance.  If you are interested, please visit Corbin Hill Food Project to find the most convenient location for you to receive your share (I’ll be going to the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry on 116th St in Harlem – it’s familiar to me, and I want to support its programs, and, also, the commute there and back home is reasonable, even if it is not right near my home – heck! Fairway, Costco, and Trader Joe’s involve commutes so it is not really that big of a deal). 

The first deliveries are June 18th and June 19th (depending on your chosen location – I’m set to receive my share on Tuesday, the 18th), and the last day to sign up for that week is June 10th. 

Just saying.

11/21/13 SHARE: What they said and what we got and what I’ll do with it

This is what we got, and what I took home (red is what we didn’t get, or what I traded. Green is what I went home with).

Savoy Cabbage – 1 head Got hd regular cabbage
Bok Choi – 1 piece Got 6 rutabagas
Toscano Kale – 1 bunch  
Watermelon Radish – 2.5 lb. Got 1 hd cabbage
Russet Potatoes – 1 quart Traded for 1 hd cabbage
Carrots – 1 bunch  
Broccoli – 2 heads Traded for 1 hd cabbage
Mache – .25 lb bag Got 1 bun. leeks
Additional Item – Lettuce or Radicchio Got 1 hd cauliflower

I ended up going home with 4 fairly large heads of cabbage, 6 medium-size rutabagas, 1 bunch of kale, 1 good bunch of carrots, and a medium-size head of cauliflower.

This was also the week for cranberries, so I got 5 lbs of fresh cranberries.

With all this wonderful cabbage, I know I am going to start some sauerkraut tomorrow night.

I’m going to a friend’s house on Wednesday afternoon and we are going to make some Thanksgiving foods because she is invited to someone’s Thanksgiving and needs to bring along something.  I’ll take her one of the jars of sauerkraut because she is a good friend.  I will also take along maybe 4 C of the cranberries, so we can make a raw cranberry sauce for her to take with her on Thanksgiving. I’ll also teach her to make marinated massaged kale or collards (whichever she buys)

11/14/13 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get

This is what they say we will get:

Kohlrabi- 2 pcs
Fennel- 1 bun
Radicchio – 1 hd
Carrots – 1 bun
Broccoli – 3 hds
Cauliflower – 1 hd
Surprise Item

Having gotten quite a bit of cauliflower from various sources, including our CSA, and having finally broken down and kept the broccoli from last week’s distribution (I am widely known as a non-broccoli person), I have managed to come up with some really good, Thanksgiving-ready raw cauliflower and raw broccoli recipes that I actually like. I will be posting them this week.

So, the cauliflower and broccoli will come home with me.
I like making raw ravioli with kohlrabi, so it is just a decision about the filler. Kale-cashew cheeze is my favorite.
I have never been a big fan of fennel, so, if I can trade it off, I might well do so, but, if not, I expect I will chop it into smithereens and put in some kind of salad mix.
Actually, all of this looks exciting (it could be that I am hungry as I write)

10/31/13 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get

POST #983
It is a very good thing that tomorrow is CSA day.  I will be quite hungry by then, I am sure.  I have just come back from vacation, so all there is to eat around here is what I have in the freezer (not much – I am not really big on freezing vegetables), a jar of fermented salsa, and some dehydrated crackers).

Kale – Red, Green or Toscano – 1 bun
Swiss Chard – 1 bun
Beets – 1 bun
Bok Choi – 1 bun
Broccoli – 1 hd
Cauliflower – 2 hds
Carrots – 1 bun
Long Peppers – 7+ pcs

Oh, goody! Lots of things I like. Yumm!

10/03/2013 CSA SHARE: What we got, what I took, & what I will do with it

HERE IS WHAT WE GOT AND WHAT I TOOK:

Baby Beets- 1 bun
Swiss Chard- 1 bun
Boston Lettuce- 2 heads(green or red)       Red Peppers
Tomatoes- mixed variety
Arugula- 1/2 lb. bag
Toscano Kale  – 1 bun
Long Red Peppers -3 pcs

The first major question I heard from other CSAers was “what happened to the beet greens”? Someone figured there was a CSA out there somewhere which had only beet greens and no beets!

With the Swiss Chard, it was me doing the “I will/I won’t” dance. In the end, I did come home with a bunch of chard – just not the bunch I had put in the trade box. What will I do with it?  I am not real sure just yet, but I am thinking wraps with the leaf halves and a ferment with the stems.

Beets?  I just haven’t decided  yet.  Thank heavens beets will stay in the refrigerator for a while, giving you time to think things over.

I ended up bringing home some arugula – I tried it on a sandwich but it was most unpleasant for me. I tried it in a marinated greens recipe, but it was grim.  Dehydrate it and grind it and add it to my super-greens jar?  Sounds like a plan.

At least half of the (sweet) red peppers I came home with will go into a hot ajvar. I know it. I have been radically protecting my Monday night event with New York Ferments, and I’m taking the ajvar with me.  This won’t be a traditional ajvar (you cannot keep me away from garlic – it will be in there, I will likely substitute chili powder for the red pepper needed, and I will probably feel the need to put some onion in it)

The kale? Ah! The kale! Kale cheeze and, probably kale chips!  I do love kale!

9/26/13 CSA SHARE: What we got, what I took, and what I’m going to do with it

POST #976
WHAT THEY PROMISED           WHAT I TRADED FOR
Salad Turnips – 1 bun
Baby Bok Choi – 2 pcs
Spinach – 1 lb
Arugula – 1/2 lb                              1 bun turnips
Toscano Kale – 1 bun
Long Red Peppers – 2 pcs
Make-up Item 1 green pepper      2 long red peppers

I know I have said that I am going to use everything in the box, but sometimes (okay, most times) I just can’t.
I am not a real salad girl — I mean, if I am in a restaurant with people, sometimes salad is all there is; and, if I am invited to dinner, and they serve salad, or I am at a meet-up and all there is besides what I brought, is salad I’ll eat it; but, at home, I do not go for salad. You may think this strange for a raw foodist, but that is who I am. I am a lazy chewer. Leaves are work. I avoid them if I can. That’s not to say that I cannot make cool food with leaves – it just means that things that work best in salads and nothing else don’t normally get on my menu.

So, all that said, I sniffed the arugula, and put it aside. I looked in the “trade” box (where we can put what we don’t want and take something someone else didn’t want – I usually go at opening time so I can get good picks from the trade box, but, yesterday, I arrived just before closing time, so the pickings were slim). There was a nice bunch of white turnips with good greens. I grabbed them and put the arugula in the trade box. Then, I looked at that green pepper. I used to like green pepper a lot, but, I much prefer red pepper now. I don’t care which kind: it can be sweet red pepper, it can be spicy red pepper – I don’t care. One small green bell pepper versus two fair-sized long red peppers (sweet)? No question there. Those were the trades.

Now, what am I going to do with the goodies?
KALE: I am going to take a few of the leaves and make a small batch of kale cashew cheeze (I checked before I went, and I still have about 2 C of cashews)
SPINACH: I saw a spinach/cashew mix which was basically my kale/cashew mix and sounded interesting, so I think I’ll take about half of the spinach and make another cashew mix/cheeze
BEETS: These salad beets are fairly large, so I can peel them and then grind them up and add some apple cider vinegar and garlic -Yum! The greens are very nice, so I will make them into marinated greens, adding some onion, garlic, and apple cider vinegar to sweeten them up. I may even add in some red pepper in for more flavor. Since I have two bunches, I may make a small jar of fermented beets.
BOK CHOY: I discovered a new way to deal with bok choy last week (that was the first time I decided to keep the bok choy, if truth be told). I took a bunch to work and tore off the leafy part, rolled it up, and dipped it in cashew/thai curry mayo. That was a nice lunch. I dipped the bok choi ends, too.

This weekend, I think I’ll wrap up the kale/cashew cheeze in the bok choi. If I have time, I may make some thin slices of red pepper and add them to the mix.

9/19/13 : WHAT WAS IN THE BOX , WHAT I WENT HOME WITH, and what I will do with it

This is what we got and what I ended up taking home:

Celery root – 2 pcs
Baby bok choi – 1 bun
Scallions – 1 bun……………traded for bok choi
Arugula – ½ lb bag…………traded for 3 red peppers
Zucchini – 1 pc………………got 2 med.small eggplants
Long Red Peppers – 3 pcs
Sweet Potatoes – 1.75 lbs

It was hard for me to decide to take home the eggplant but there was really nothing else to choose except 3 small sweet potatoes, so I bit the bullet.  Now, after researching for only a short time, I wish I had traded something for the eggplants there for trade, as I have found several tasty-looking recipes for fermented eggplant. I am looking forward to making some hot ajvar with the eggplant and red peppers, and some fermented eggplant with garlic.