09 August 2011

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Last January we decided to participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for half of a growing season.  A CSA is a group of people who buy a "share" in a local farm.  We pay the farmer upfront and he grows his crops.  In return, we get a weekly share of the produce (or eggs and meat).  I've loved the concept since I first heard about it.  I love knowing I'm supporting a local farmer and that my food is fresh and hasn't traveled half the country (or internationally) to arrive on my dinner plate.  I love the fact that when the girls are older we can go visit our farm and see our food growing. 

However, I was totally unprepared for the cooking inspiration that comes with having all my vegetables picked out for me! Planning meals around my full bag of veggies was so much fun last week.  I can't wait to see what Derek brings home tonight :)

Here's what was in my bag from Greenbrier Farms:
  • 1 homemade ball of pizza dough
  • 3 eggplant (one huge, 2 skinny)
  • 6 Zephyr summer Squash
  • 1 pint assorted heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 5 giant heirloom tomatoes
  • 6 potatoes
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • about 2 pints of okra
 And here's what we ate for dinner (I'm no food photographer... and I missed an entire meal):
Night 1: 
Roasted Potatoes and Okra with Baked Chicken

Lunch Day 2: 
A Salad for Mommy and handfuls of tomatoes for the girls
(who complained when the tomatoes were all gone!)

Night 2:
Appetizer Night!
From the Top: Eggplant Dip with Crostini, Tomatoes and Fresh Mozarella,
Spinach Dip Bread Bowls (with the Pizza Crust), Bacon
Eggplant Dip- Soo Good!
My Dad always makes tomatoes this way with homemade dressing every Labor Day :)
Night 3:
Squash and Potato Cheesy Casserole with Chicken Nuggets (for the girls only)

(Ahem. Missing picture)

Night 4: 
Eggplant Parmesan
Awesome Fork Technique: This stuff disappeared!
I'm hoping for more eggplant in this week's share.

Night 5: 
Assorted Leftovers

(no picture needed)
Night 6:
Salmon and Rice with Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Squash

Night 7:
Chicken, Bacon, Cheddar, Bell Pepper, and Ranch Wraps with Green Beans
(not made yet... maybe I'll sneak a picture in later this evening)

(All of the recipes that I used or modified for this week can be found on my CSA Pinterest Board. I'll add whatever else I cook up with notes as the summer progresses.)


Julia said...

Oh my goodness! That all looks amazing! We have a co-op here, and I think I'll definitely take advantage next year!

I love tomatoes with mozzarella--makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

CW said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Melissa! I was just talking with my church sisters today about noisy rabbit (http://www.thenoisyrabbit.com/), and they also talked about CSA which I had no idea what it was...then I read your blog! We'll definitely look into it before deciding which one to go with!