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 localharvest.org.  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.

31 comments:

CottageGirl said...

Look at how great that produce looks! Wow! How lucky you are to have such a great CSA!!! I'm looking to see if we have one! Thanks for the tip!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I love the idea! I miss having my own garden but this is even better!! Thank you!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Yummy! With the lousy luck I had last year (and some previous years) gardening, I should check out just such a plan. Gosh, that fresh produce looks so delicious. It makes me wonder why in the heck I'm eating junk, and not more of the good stuff! Thanks for the reminder! :) -Tammy

Buckeroomama said...

I also read about CSA from another blog and wish that we have something similar here.

Christina said...

That looks wonderful...I like the idea a lot. I am in such a terrible stage as far as cooking goes-so unimaginative. We have eaten a lot of pizza lately. Yikes. I would probably have a cow myself if I did read that Food, Inc. Or we would starve...since I hate to cook but would no longer be able to bring myself to eat the crap that is, I'm sure, outlined in there. We had friends (well, they're still there actually) in Princeton, NJ who did this kind of thing, and they loved it. But they both love to cook! Your recipes sound very good though. Especially the squash soup and the breads. We will always go for some bread around here!

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Wow! I have never heard of this! That is quite a bounty!

Elle Bee, I hope you and your family are all well! Thanks for stopping by and for the sweet comments!

Have a great evening!
Tammy

Muthering Heights said...

I agree...we have so much to be thankful for!

Jana said...

WHOOOO! for one I was like "ugh, I wonder if they have that out here" and then you were like "Jana lives in Tennessee" and then I was like OMYGOSH but wait it gets better because then you mentioned cooking fun things and of course I need the recipes!!! There is nothing like supporting local farmers while keeping things fresh! I looooove this! I made all my pumpkin puree from a local stand this year when we were living with our friends! I am off to google cant wait to see what else you get! thanks for the shout out!

Dandy said...

Now that is seriously cool. I am constantly impressed by what bug will eat. I mean, I have never met the person who grows the food I eat because I buy at grocery stores.

You are the coolest. You are! I'm off to check that site out.

Dandy said...

OMG I love you! I've been all over that site and there is a FARM right by us in the middle of orange county that I didn't even know about!! And they do tours and kids tours and the kids can pick their own fruits and vegetables and eat them right there and now I have to steal some kids to bring them.

We are going to start the program in March when it starts back up and I am soooo excited!

PS. I'm so happy you tried the bars!

Catherine Anne said...

GREAT POST!!! I love the pics of your little one. Very cute...

Susan said...

That clinches it! I am definitely going to join a local CSA this year! Even though we grow some of our veggies in the summer, we don't have a lot of variety, especially fruit. Thanks for the nudge, Elle!

Rural Revival said...

Yay!!! I LOVE this! Eating local has been my biggest 'thing' the last few years, ever since I read Kingsolver's 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle'. It really is the best isn't it! I'm so glad you posted this AND look already Dandy is converted! Awesome!! : )

Be well!

~Andrea~

teamkyte said...

I have been looking for a local CSA!!!! I am going to check it out today!

monica said...

Wow I can't wait to go to our local Farmers market again this spring for all the goodies. We went a few times last year and the stuff was great! Your pictures are so vibratante!

McVal said...

What a great idea! We like to get meat from a local locker. NOTHING beats Iowa corn-fed beef and pork!
As for veggies... I never remember when the farmers market is in the next big town. Ours doesn't have one... unless you want to grow it yourself. I happened to talk to a neighbor one day last summer while she was weeding her garden and came home with a ton of zuchinni and egg plant! The timing was impeccable!!!

AJ said...

I love that idea! mmm. Sounds so good! If my family was as adventurous as your with the fruits and veggies, especially the veggies I would be all over that!

Carrie said...

I live in Midland MI and I just googled CSA...the closest I got was Midland, Alabama! Geesh! Your post made my mouth water...looks like it is going to be a long winter.

Elle Bee said...

Hi Carrie, You actually have a CSA right in Midland, MI called Dawson Farm. I recommend using localharvest.org rather than google. Here's the link to the webpage showing results from a Midland, MI search.

http://www.localharvest.org/search-csa.jsp?map=1&lat=43.601347&lon=-84.206759&scale=8&ty=6&nm=&zip=48686

Debbie said...

Ummm Yum!

Ingrid said...

Okay, so before finishing your post I clinked on the link to see if I could jump on the bandwagon. WELLLL, there doesn't appear to be any farms near me which is weird since I live in FLORIDA! We have tons of rural areas. There were two places (sorta) but they seemed to be geared toward meats. I don't want to know the chicken, cow, or fish I'm about to eat for dinner. :)

Thanks for the info and I'm going to check a little better!
~ingrid

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in to say hi! What a great box of goodies!

Joyce said...

Lucky you. I sue to get fresh produce when we lived outside of San Francisco. Since moving to the SE I have to travel a distance to a farmers market but I do go every two weeks and stock up on fresh produce. I enjoyed your post about your rain barrels. Your husband had the right idea on that one!
Joyce

curegirl0421 said...

Yay for fresh veg... This is why I love farmers markets!

teamkyte said...

I am adding you to my 6!!! Hooray!!

golonghorns said...

Oh how heavenly! I love produce and what fun dreaming up new recipes each week. My Mom had a huge garden in our backyard and it really fostered my love of cooking and eating with fresh food. It's so hard to garden in Texas so this is the next best thing. I am off to look up one for Austin!

Jackie said...

Wow that box of goodies looks great. We have at least one CSA in our area and we have a really great Farmers Market...can't wait until they open back up in March. Now I'm really looking forward to spring. Enjoy that bounty!

Jackie

from our front porch... said...

Come by to enter the giveaway! And pass it on!
xo, misha

痛苦 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yelena R. said...

That is a REALLY great idea! Reminds me of the years I spent living on a farm :D
During the summer my mom goes to a local farm and picks enough cucumbers and tomatoes to last us months...you would be surprised at the uses she think up for them :)

Jana said...

WAHHHH I have missed so much, I could cry, I cant believe it, pure gold and I didnt even realize. I love your blog missy! Those veggies cause envy in various shades.