Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh, Say, Can You CSA? Week 1

I had a hard time sitting still at work today.

Okay, I admit, I wasn't working on the most exciting project, but even so, I was eager for the work day to end so that I could head out to The Gentleman Farmer's farm and pick up my CSA produce for the very first time.

The Lady Bountiful and her eldest son greeted the Renaissance Man and me with big smiles and immediately pulled our produce out of the cooler. And for the very first week, it was an impressive array of greens and other delights!

This week's pick-up included a very large head of Red Sail lettuce, a large head of Butter Crunch lettuce, a bag of Melody spinach, a small bundle of Electric Lights Swiss chard (in the middle), two bunches of a variety of radishes, a pound of rhubarb, and two quarts of astonishingly plump strawberries. Wow!

In addition, the Lady Bountiful insisted that I pick out three additional herb pots, despite my
having bought so many from her last month. I thought briefly about duplicating some of the herbs I already have (can anyone truly ever have enough thyme???), but I ended up selecting lime basil (a deliciously fragrant variety that I suspect will work well in Thai cooking), chives, and a three-pack of cherry tomatoes. (No, I don't need any more tomatoes, so I plan to give those to the faithful Persephone for her summer garden patch.)

The produce came with an abbreviated version of the newsletter they're putting together for the CSA subscribers, so I also took home family recipes for shortcake and for wilted lettuce.

As our vehicle got hemmed in by other subscribers stopping by to pick up produce, the Gentleman Farmer's Son turned the golf cart over to us so that we could ride out to the "back forty" (considerably less, actually) and see how everything else is growing.

They've staked all of their tomato plants in the tunnel, and those are growing lush and strong. I have no idea how many varieties they have planted, but based on last year's supply at the farmers' market, I'd guess they have at least six varieties, if not more.

All of their fields -- including this patch of beets -- are looking much greener than the last time we visited, and in each one I can see future CSA pickups. Oh, yum!

On the way back home, we stopped to visit My Wonderful Parents and to drop off their portion of the weekly share: one of the heads of lettuce, a quart of strawberries, all of the rhubarb, and some radishes. (I didn't leave any of the dark leafy greens since the Chef Mother is on medication that doesn't interact well with those vegetables.)

And once the Renaissance Man dropped me off, I indulged in one of my favorite ways to celebrate the first harvest: a radish sandwich on toasted homemade whole grain bread. Heaven!

Now, of course, I have an impressive quantity of produce in the refrigerator, between the CSA pickup and the greens from my own garden -- with the first farmers' market coming up on Saturday.

Guess I'd better start eating!

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At 6/06/2008 9:46 AM, Blogger valereee said...

Oooh, radish sandwiches! YUM!

At 6/06/2008 9:52 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

And it was tasty, valereee... I might have to have another tonight! :-)

At 6/07/2008 6:35 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

I could swoon over your strawberries, and I chucked over the radish sandwiches. How could I have lived so long without someone telling me!

At 6/09/2008 7:29 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I could swoon over them, too, Janet... am hoping for more in this week's basket!

The wonderful thing about radish sandwiches? Really good bread, sweet creamy butter, crunchy peppery radishes, and a sprinkling of sea salt to pull it all together... wow!


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