Stephanie Stricklen

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Fresh from the farm

by Stephanie Stricklen

Posted on June 4, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:42 PM

I got my first bag of CSA produce yesterday.

CSA; what's that, you say? Canadian Standards Association? Confederate States of America? (thanks, b!x)

It's actually something I've wanted to try ever since doing a story on these fine folks some 6 or 7 years ago:

It's called Community Sustainable Agriculture. You can learn more about it here:

In one horribly over-simplified sentence: CSA farms allow you to purchase a share in a local farm for weekly pick up of typically organic produce (and sometimes meats and cheeses) during the growing season.

In fact, that link I just shared was the site I used to start researching farms near my house. Of course, every year I seemed to miss the window to get on board. It's a popular thing 'round these parts, and finding a farm that has a pickup schedule that works with your work schedule AND has open slots can be a challenge.

Thanks to a lovely gal on twitter (@hollysue) I got an 'in'. She suggested a farm that she was leaving and I started work on making things happen. Everything lined up and yesterday the husband and I picked up a bag full of these goodies:


The husband and wife farmer team was apologetic about how meager the first week's offerings were, which makes me laugh because there is a lot of good stuff there. I mean, if that's meager I can't wait to see it during the peak of the season. First, the spinach is to-die-for tender and tastes wonderful. The arugula is actually sweet instead of only spicy. The husband sauteed green onion tops last night and will grill the thicker stalks tonite. The mixed salad is fresh as can be, the radishes didn't even last 5 minutes in the house, the sprouty potatoes were an optional-take and came with a suggested recipe, and the rapini... well, that brings me to the whole point of why I wanted to write about this.

I've never purchased rapini (aka "rabe") in my life. I had to prod The Google for a recipe, only to get a good suggestion from @JenStorer on twitter. And as I looked through the schedule of what's coming in the following weeks, I realized I'll learn to work with all kinds of new, healthy foods. For some reason, I am way too excited about that. I was all a flutter with talk of learning how to can, jar, pickle and preserve foods, make my own baby food, blah blah... and finally the husband looked at me and lovingly said, "Honey, calm down." (If you've ever spent any time around me you can see how this conversation might transpire.)

So, off I go on this new little food adventure, bursting with this ridiculous enthusiasm that is proof I should never ever ingest caffeine. You know where to find me if you want to talk rapini.

As for the obligatory Steph-can't-talk-about-anything-but-being-pregnant-these-days update: I had a really fantastic doctor visit yesterday. Blood pressure is down. Swelling is under control. No more blood draws because things are looking so good. And the baby has decided making braided key chains and telling ghost stories in Camp Uterus is fun, after all. So, I'm waiting. And secretly hoping she doesn't wait til 40 weeks to show up. Or 41 weeks. But, like so much else in my life these days, that's something I'm not in charge of.

See ya soon. :)