Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bounty in a Box

Did you know most produce travels approximately 1500 miles before it reaches your plate?  That's a lot of pollution!  Plus, how many vitamins are lost during that transit time?

Everything in this box was grown and harvested 30 miles away from my home.  And that makes me feel pretty peachy.

We recently subscribed to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share with Z and D Frago Family Farm.  I picked up this box yesterday from Debra, who would be the "D" in "Z and D". She is as nice as can be and is a wealth of farming knowledge.  It's comforting to meet the people who grow the food I feed my children. 

If you are local to my area, take a look at their listing by clicking the link above.  If you're not, check out  There are CSA's all over the United States and they usually have several drop off sites in the surrounding areas.  Plus, you'll find information on farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.  California's climate allows many farms to continue producing for their CSA subscribers year-round.  But most farms will begin their CSA's by May and go through October.

Just for fun, I looked up listings for Tennessee because I know my dear Jana lives there.  The first CSA I clicked on offers (in addition to fruits and vegetables) "flowers, wreaths, preserves, soap, bread, vinegar and bath and body products"!  Isn't that fun?!   

The second CSA I clicked on showed this photo for their shares starting in May.  It just makes my mouth water!

There is such an abundance of organic, local goodness out there that is far better for our bodies, our local communities and our planet.  (Food, Inc, the movie or the book, does a good job of explaining why it's better).
Our house must be full of fruit bats and bunnies, because the persimmons and white radishes were gone the first day we got the box. I heard a small *poof* sound and saw a suspicious cloud of smoke where the tangerines used to be. The sweet potatoes didn't stand a chance, and the butternut squash was never heard from again.

My kitchen has been a blur of cooking and baking: Cream of butternut squash soup and braised radishes.  Citrus marinated chicken and sweet potato casserole.  Winter vegetable and sausage soup.  Lemon bars, lemon bread and cranberry orange bread.  Oh my! 
(I'm happy to share any of these recipes--just ask in comments).
I think it will be exciting for the joeys to see what shows up in the box each week. 

And, finding and trying new recipes for some of the interesting produce we would never otherwise purchase, grow or know about, will be a fun and challenging adventure.   The exposure of these interesting foods to Bug, Bex & Dee (and myself!) is priceless.

Just look what we have to look forward to this summer (a photo Debra posted of a box that went out to a subscriber in July):

Now that's a bounty in a box!


With such bounty comes humble gratitude. 
Let us all be in prayer for the people of Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Rain Barrel Poem

I was amid a pile of laundry one day
when I heard this uttered from my husband Jay:

"I'm going to buy some huge barrels today! 
From a nice guy selling his wares on ebay"

"I'll raise 'em & rig 'em in a very strange way
Attach a faucet, cut the downspout, use a bottle if I may."

My reply: "What they hey? What's all this for, please tell me, Jay."

"Why it's to capture all the rain that fell yesterday!
And use it in our garden for free, I say!"

Then Bug and I planted spinach and flowers so gay

And watered them with rain that fell just the other day,
from stormy skies so cloudy and gray.

(Now before you snow dwellers comment in dismay
just remember that this is the California way
And while we love that we can go out and play
With narry a coat or mittens, as if it were May
We sure would love to get out our sleigh
and go sledding on a glorious snow day).

(PS It sure is hard making everything rhyme with -ay)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Strangest Thing Happened The Other Day...

A fairy appeared in my backyard!

Like most fairies of this variety, she was extremely busy:

constantly singing, narrating, and alighting from place to place.

What a beautiful sight to see...

...a fairy in my backyard, just for me.