Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just Peachy

It was with some trepidation L and I picked up our first farm box from our CSA.  E-mails last week from the woman who runs this CSA gave us the feeling that it is very loosely run--definitely not our style--but OK.

The first e-mail informed us that she is not sure if we will be continuing through the summer. What? We just started our session, because in New Jersey we wait all year long for summer produce.  The next e-mail said that because of such a large response, she had to go in search of other providers. OK.

So we go to pick up our boxes, a half share each, in the pouring rain.  We make our way back to the garage where a short hunt finds us our labeled boxes. A stop at the cooler to collect our dozen eggs, and off we go. We will return in two weeks for our next box.

When I returned home I was excited to see what was awaiting me.

There was no need for me to have been apprehensive about the quantity of produce being too much for two people as it seemed quite manageable. In fact some of the quantities seemed quite ridiculous. Four baby beets and pea pods that yielded less than one cup shucked peas.  Good thing, for me, that John doesn't care for either, because neither would have made a decent side dish for two.

The baby beets looked so much prettier raw than cooked; but I roasted them with olive oil and made them into a tiny first course salad with goat cheese and arugula.

The sweet peas were just steamed and buttered and added to the dinner plate.

Dinner the next night was fresh eggs fried in a ring of red pepper and dusted with Parmesan cheese atop wholegrain toast.

This was accompanied by the broad beans, the only vegetables adequate enough for two servings. They were boiled, drained, tossed with olive oil and salted.

And some beautifully ripe and sweet Campari tomatoes roasted with olive oil, thyme and garlic.

Saturday's dinner was accompanied by the five scallions, grilled.

I am trying to reserve judgement, but I thought the whole concept of community supported agriculture was just that. Eat seasonally, eat locally, and support local farmers. I have been eating seasonally and locally as much as possible my whole life, so it is not a new or foreign concept to me.  So you can understand my confusion to find included in my box pears from Argentina, scallions from California and peaches and oranges from who knows where.  The Campari tomatoes, by the way, were purchased from the supermarket and hydroponically grown in New Jersey!

Perhaps a half share should contain less variety than a full share, but enough of each vegetable to serve at least two people.  Perhaps I'm being too picky.

Today is Sunday and I have left 3 hard pears, two oranges, and one peach. The cherries went quickly.The two yellow squash will be grilled for dinner today or tomorrow, and the large head of red leaf lettuce will be gone as well.

We'll see.


  1. I would have been pissed to find pears from Argentina and scallions from California. I irritate so easily. What really gets me going are cucumbers from New Jersey ;) I don't think you're being too picky about quantities.

  2. Tracy--You should taste our tomatoes : )

  3. I love my CSA box but I'm too sometimes disappointed when I get produce from Mexico or other countries...I don't need to eat tomatoes in the middle of winter... I can happily wait until in season. But in general I love the whole concept and convince, too.

  4. M.-- I hear you. I'm reserving judgement for now, but I just don't get having foreign produce in a community supported agriculture box.

  5. I understand your confusion. I've never heard of a CSA having produce from other countries. It seems so strange and contrary to what I thought a CSA was all about.

  6. Denise--The word "community" seems to have been lost here. Yesterday I received tomatoes and fruit from California. Where are the New Jersey blueberries?

  7. So very strange. I wonder if your New Jersey blueberries are here in my Safeway : )