Here are the past three CSA shares, concluding my little project! Over all, I loved the produce I received and it taught me a lot about eating seasonally as well as challenged me to use things I wouldn't typically buy at the store. For next year, I've decided not to participate in a CSA but instead visit a weekly Farmer's Market to do most of my shopping. I feel like I will be able to control any food waste better if I can buy week to week and purchase according to our eating habits. If you are interested in a CSA, I would highly recommend it! Unfortunately, the farm I used is taking a break in 2015 but the Local Harvest site is a great resource to find a CSA near you! Also, see the little animation below I made to show you the arch of seasonal produce. Enjoy.
Gift guides are all the rage right now so I thought I'd share some items on my wishlist but with a little twist... all local to St. Louis stuff! With Small Business Saturday this weekend, I wanted to show off some of the awesome, healthy gift options we have right here in the center of the USA; Heartland Revival style!
1. Perennial Herb Drying Rack — Perfect for your favorite gardener. Not only practical, it is made entirely of upcycled materials.
3. Body Sticks from Maven — Confession, I already have their deodorant but who can have too much of that? It's by far the best working aluminum-free deodorant I've tried. Now, the face oil cleanser I haven't tried yet but it has spirulina in it so that automatically puts it as a want. Both would make great stocking stuffers.
5. Essential Oils from Cheryl's Herbs — Cheryl does 'em right. Their products are top quality and made in-house. My favorite is the Lavandin oil (stronger than Lavender oil) and their tea tree oil.
6. Missouri Cutting Board — Made entirely out of Missouri wood, this would make a great gift for the ultimate host in your life.
7. Body soap from Buddha Bath and Body — Made from natural and sustainable ingredients, their soap is the most luxurious of homemade products I've found. BONUS, they just opened a store down on Cherokee!
8. Growler from Scratch Brewing — Everything is good in moderation, right? If you're going to drink beer why not drink some that has been "brewed with home grown and locally farmed and foraged ingredients". (a little further from St. Louis than the others but definitely worth it)
9. Honey Masters Honey — A great organization as well as local. Good for your soul and immunity during the cold & flu season!
10. Sunflower Massage Gift Certificate— Not all massage studios are created equal. This one is privately owned and all of the therapists are very professional and considerate of your health history and any concerns. And they use Cheryl's Herbs essential oils to boot!
11. ReTrailer Tea — One of my very favorite local brands, Lisa's teas are not only delicious but have Ayurvedic healing properties.
Please see either the websites linked or Facebook pages on where to buy. I know that I did not cover all the great, healthy gift ideas St. Louis has to offer so if you have anything additional to add, please share below!
Big changes over here with a move and merging of two households! I've basically been making the same dishes with my CSAs so I am combining 8+9 into one post. Despite the hectic schedule that comes with a move, I was still able to can and preserve some of my CSA. I mainly canned tomato sauce and pickles with these two CSAs and also made a batch of sun-dried tomatoes in the dehydrator. Looking forward to having fresh produce during the blustery Missouri winter months.
Tomatoes: salsa, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce
Cherry and/or Plum Tomatoes: sun-dried tomatoes using the dehydrator
Green Beans: sauteed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Melons: (watermelon) as a snack!
Cucumbers: maple bourbon pickles for Christmas gifts (and as a special garnish for Bloody Mary's)
Summer Squash: curry squash soup
Sweet Peppers: salads
Loose-leaf Kale: Kale Ceasar salad
Okra: Fried okra (recipe courtesy of Riverbend Roots Farm)
Tomatoes: tomato paste (to be made into Ketc
Green Beans: sauteed with onion and bell pepper (omitted the bacon grease and used butter instead and vegetable broth to make it vegetarian friendly
Cherry or Plum tomatoes: in salads and bruschetta
Cucumbers: cucumber salad and pickles
Sweet Peppers: in salads
Summer Squash: squash au gratin
Pretty obvious who the star of this week's CSA is, as well as the next few weeks I'm sure. Fine by me since I recently bought myself a canning set and a huge canning pot. Here's what I did with this share. (as I am a few weeks late posting this)
Tomatoes - made into canned stewed tomatoes and salsa
Cherry and Plum tomatoes - salads and LOTS of bruschetta
Onions - in breakfast hashes
Cucumbers - raw or made into Whiskey Brine Pickles
Zucchini/Summer Squash - breakfast hash and yet to be used...
Fennel - in juice
Basil - in bruschetta, pesto and still on my counter... I've figured out how to make it last forever!
Lettuce - used in a Mexican-type salad since it was bitter
Already looking forward to my next pickup (which is tomorrow) and canning some pasta sauce and more pickles. How is your CSA going? Are you canning anything?
Since I am so late in posting this, the contents of this CSA is long gone! Here is what I did with my share:
Tomatoes - in my Sourdough Calzones (with basil and balsamic)
Cherry o Tomatoes - Double Tomato Bruschetta (with this recipe, I usually use sun-dried tomatoes, NOT in oil and skip the cheese)
Lettuce - Salads
Potatoes - breakfast hashes
Cucumbers - salads, with hummus
Summer Squash & Zucchini - roasted together with onion, garlic and red pepper flakes
Green Peppers - raw with hummus
Basil - in Calzones, Bruschetta, and for Blueberry Basil Jam sweetened with honey
Scallions - in everything
Purplette onions - in hashes and salads
Onions - with the roasted squash and zucchini
Here is the latest and greatest from my CSA. This week's share had several items that I had never eaten or cooked with but I am up for the challenge. Using more ingredients sourced locally and in season has started to change my thinking when shopping at the grocery store. I can tell tremendously the difference in quality of foods out of season compared to in season. It feels good to be more in tune with nature!
Swiss Chard: Lemon Garlic Swiss Chard
Lettuce: Salads, of course
Bag of Lettuce Mix (not pictured): Same as above
Scallions: in stir-frys, salads, everything
Kohlrabi: Shaved with Apple and Hazelnuts
Bok Choy: Salad from CSA:1
Turnips: Caramelized, served with an egg on top. (made this for last Sunday's breakfast, SO GOOD)
Strawberries: In salads and in breakfast overnight oats
Peas: As a snack or in a stir-fry
Garlic Scapes: In salad dressings, stir-frys, wherever I would normally use garlic
What new vegetables have you tried lately? It's so easy to Google recipes and find how to prepare foods; there are no excuses with today's technology. Next time you are at the store or farmers market, purchase a vegetable that you've always wondered about but never had the courage to try it!
These are the contents of my CSA from last Thursday. So many greens! Here's what I have planned:
2 heads of bok choy: crunchy slaw
2 heads of lettuce: lettuce wraps and salads
1 bunch of kale: cheesy kale chips
Bag of spinach: salads and for juicing
Bag of baby kale: juicing
Bag of mixed greens: used for a Greek salad for Memorial weekend camping
Small container of strawberries (not pictured): in overnight oats and strawberry chia jam
I am most worried about using it all before it goes bad. I did some research on storing greens and so far, so good! Do you have any tips for storing greens? Let me know in the comments!
Yesterday, I picked up my first CSA haul! Last fall, I made the decision to participate in a CSA in an effort to eat locally and because I eat A LOT of vegetables and it can be expensive. After some research and asking around, I decided to go with Riverbend Roots Farm. Since this is my first time participating, I chose the full share for every other week. I wanted to get the full range of what they offer but wasn't sure I could handle a full share every week by myself. I was warned that the first share is the smallest and although it won't last me long, I was happy with what was included in the share and I am excited to try a few new recipes.
Here's what I plan to do with my share:
Bok choy: seared as a side dish
Radishes: in a salad with cucumbers (to serve along with the bok choy)
Bag of greens: LOTS of salads
Lemon Balm: infused vinegar, muddled in cocktails, paired with strawberries to flavor water
I encourage you to find out where your food comes from and try cooking with a vegetable you've never had before! Here is a great resource for finding locally grown food near you.