Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Oh, Say, Can You CSA? Week 18

The winds blew me all the way out to the farm for CSA pickup today, making me thankful for a thick sweater to keep out the chill. When fall arrives, it can sometimes sweep in with a vengeance!

But I really can't complain, because the cooler weather we've had this week has brought out the finest in fall produce. While the tomatoes are clinging to life, still producing some beautiful sweet fruit, the leafy greens and beans are returning to the fields, and the harvest crops of apples, pears, and squash add a warming flavor to meals.

It's no surprise, then, that this week's CSA basket reflected that ongoing shift:

Today we each picked up:

--one acorn squash
--two sweet onions
--one dark and one light eggplant
--one colored and one green sweet pepper
--one quart of Fordhook lima beans
--one bunch Ruby Red Swiss chard
--one box poblano peppers
--two bulbs garlic
--one quart pears
--one quart apples
--three pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
--one pint tomatillos
--one quart tomatoes
--one pint cherry tomatoes
--one bag mixed lettuce
--one large and one small pie pumpkin
--and a shock of corn for those who wanted the festive harvest decoration!

While I had to leave the corn stalks for next week -- I was overloaded already! -- I was more than happy to gather all the rest of the produce. And surprisingly, I ended up with the majority of it: when I stopped by to share the goods with My Wonderful Parents, they accepted only the lima beans, the Swiss chard, and an eggplant, saying they had more than enough produce for right now themselves.

There was one additional item I left with them, though, and I wasn't taking no for an answer. The Lady Bountiful has in recent weeks invited a fellow farmer to join us on CSA pickup day to sell some of his locally raised beef and chicken. Being vegetarian, I wasn't interested in buying any for myself, but I took advantage of My Wonderful Parents' absence today to buy them a couple cuts of beef for their upcoming anniversary as well as for their freezer. They get a good meal, the farmer gets a little extra support, and I get the bill -- works out well for me!

The recipes the Lady Bountiful included in our list today covered pumpkin soup, apple stuffed acorn squash, and roasted pumpkin seeds, so I think I might have to give one or two of these a try!

I didn't get to meet up with Tara today -- guess I was late, huh, Tara? -- but some time ago, the Lady Bountiful had featured a few of Tara's photos from a CSA workday in our weekly newsletter. Tara has more of these on her blog, and they give a beautiful sense of the peace underlying the labor on the farm. I think all of us with CSA shares have brought different ideas and visions to the table in this year's "experiment," and it sounds like sharing what we see and learn from visiting the farm has given the Lady Bountiful and her family new ways of looking at what they do and appreciating their own work all the more.

There's so much beauty out at the farm that it's hard to convey it well, but I think it gives all of us CSA subscribers such a lift to be there and to be more involved in the production of our food and the nourishment of our bodies.

Only two weeks remain in the regular CSA season, with two added weeks after that. Will we continue to see this kind of amazing bounty through the rest of the month?

There are no guarantees, but I suspect we will -- in one way or another.

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At 10/03/2008 2:00 PM, Blogger Tara said...

Aw, that is so sweet of you...
I have a web album just of farm pictures here:
Lady Bountiful was sweet enough to recommend I photograph them for their upcoming magazine feature, too. I think it will be fun!
We will miss the CSA so much when it is finished! :-(
Sorry I missed you this time around. Maybe next week?

At 10/03/2008 2:17 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Wow, Tara, those photos are gorgeous. (Everyone, go look!!!) I really need to catch up with you sometime and get some good pointers. The Lady Bountiful chose well to ask you to do the photography!

We'll miss the CSA, too -- hope we can do it again next year. Hope to catch up with you next week -- remind me, I've got an idea to run by you.


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