On Saturday we had a treat--we picked up our first "box" (actually, a very full bag) of fresh produce from our summer share in Left Foot Organics farm. We got two heads of lettuce (baby butter and red romaine), red Swiss chard, fava beans, green onions, fresh cilantro, and fresh basil. As the summer heats up and the produce really takes off, our boxes will be full to overflowing, but this is a pretty good haul for June.
Both fava beans and Swiss chard are new to me and I had no idea how to cook either. After peeling the beans (I felt very old-fashioned and southern, standing in my kitchen peelin' beans) I heated some fresh garlic in organic ev olive oil, added about 3/4 cup organic chicken stock, and simmered the beans for around 10 mins. They were delicious--Steve gobbled them up before I even sat down. I'm coming to the conclusion that folks who don't like veggies have never had them fresh, or properly cooked. A little olive oil, garlic, and sea salt can work wonders! Next on the list is Swiss chard in salad, and sauteed in an omelet. I'll probably attempt some fresh pesto this week as well.
I love LFO's business model of hiring people with developmental disabilities, and that the food they offer is truly LOCAL and grown on their own farm. There are many "CSAs" and produce delivery services offering boxes that aren't local. While it's a nice convenient one-stop shop for produce, it's not CSA. The C stands for "community"--LOCAL produce supports your OWN community and doesn't travel hundreds or thousands of miles to arrive at your door.
Eating more locally is becoming more important to me, and it's quite a shift in thinking, because it also means eating seasonally. That's a big change when you're used to getting anything you want, any time of year. The key word for me is MORE locally. We need our bananas, and I don't think I can make it through the winter without a salad, or an orange. All the more reason to buy local produce now, while it's here.
Even if I hated every morsel of produce I received (not likely!), the summer share would still be money well-spent for me. We vote with our dollars, after all. :)