Supporting your local farmers with a playful twist

6 09 2011

As I mentioned before through this blog, supporting your local agriculture is fundamental for the development of the economy in your community. You can do this by buying in farmers markets and stores that you know that sell local produce, but there is another way of doing it that we choose and I actually find it a lot of fun, and that is to subscribe to a CSA. A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a consortium of local farmers that prepare boxes that either are delivered to you or you pick up each week (or twice a month, it depends on the deal).

My husband and I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and we find that there is not really such a big price difference with the supermarket, especially when you factor in that most of the produce that we get is either organic or naturally grown. There might be some disadvantages to this, as in you pay up front for the season, or you might pay in installments but you are locked in, and you lose your share if you are not in town that week, except if you arrange before hand with a friend. Your share also is affected by the weather conditions, since it’s local, and you do not get to pick the produce. For example, this summer has been killer for us in PA, and our shares show it! Last year we got all kinds of things that we have barely seen this year. Additionally you don’t choose and you get what you get… which for me is part of the fun of the CSA.

Forbiden Rice Puding recipe given by our CSA.

Our CSA is Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance, it includes over 10 different farms (and one of them is a consortium itself) and Ms. Karlin Lamberto does a great job at keeping in touch and informing us of what we are going to get in our share each week. I get really excited about fruit and veggies, so this for me builds anticipation, and I love it! as one of the improvements this year, they have set up a blog in which you can see what you are getting each week and they share recipes that include some of the produce you would be getting. I have discovered many a new recipe that I’ve loved, and I have faced the challenge of eating things that I did not like, because of course you do not want to waste what you’ve paid for! This has built me greatly as a cook… I’ve had to find ways of making fennel or broccoli likeable for us! And I’ve discovered that I actually do like eggplants 🙂

We also have discovered things that we had never eaten before (kohlrabi?) either because we did not know how to cook or because it was too expensive in the supermarket. You also get to eat the prime of the season and incorporate a wide variety of nutrients, which is always good for you. Additionally we get cheeses and herbs about every other week. Coming the end of the season we also get apple cider (one of the few things with nutrients I could take when I was in my first trimester) and apple vinegar!

Penn’s Corner also holds farms stands through the year. You can find a lot of produce that they will have and order before hand for pick up at the market. They have suggested extending the shares into the winter, which I would love to see happening, but so far they run from early spring to November.

Living in the Pittsburgh area? Consider giving them a try next year!

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8 responses

6 09 2011
Marina

En Bariloche hay algo parecido y te traen fruta y verdura del Bolsón. En verano estaba muy bueno, pero en invierno te traían 4 plantas de lechuga y 5 zanahorias, y el menú se volvía un tanto aburrido!
Antes de empezar mi nuevo plan de alimentación, nunca había comido berenjenas, pero ahora encontré varias formas de prepararlas y las drisfruto un montón. Mi receta preferida es hacer lasagna de verduras, y reemplazar la masa de lasagna con berenjenas. Queda buenisima!

7 09 2011
Constanza

Buenisimo! La CSA a la que suscribimos no funciona durante el invierno, pero hay otra que manda papas y cebollas a rolete! A mi la berenjena no me gustaba, hasta que empezamos a recibir y para no tirarla empece a experimentar… ahora no puedo esperar a que manden mas! 🙂 En general nos mandan una sola berenjena grande o varias chiquitas, asi que no da para lasagna, pero si alguna vez nos mandan cantidad voy a probar!

7 09 2011
Marina

Cuando hago lasagna la hago con una sola berenjena grande. La corto en fetas lo más finitas que puedo, las cocino con un poco de aceite vegetal al horno o a la sartén, y después armo la lasagna. De esa manera saco como 15-20 lonjas dependiendo del tamaño de la berenjena. A mi me alcanza para una lasagna que divido en 3 porciones, así que a Uds. les debería alcanzar también.

7 09 2011
Constanza

OK, voy a probar la proxima vez que nos manden. Que le pones adentro?

7 09 2011
Marina

Hago un relleno de espinaca y acelga y le pongo todo lo que tenga a mano: cebolla, morrón, hongos, zuchini, zanahoria, choclo, etc. Le pongo un par de huevos para ligar y queso blanco. Si tengo, le intercalo fetas de jamón entre las capas. Para que las berenjenas queden bien blanditas suelo poner mucha salsa de tomate y/o salsa blanca entre las capas. La salsa blanca desde que estoy a dieta la hago con 1 taza de leche, una cucharada de fécula de maíz y los condimentos. Nada de harina o manteca!

11 09 2011
Edu

Aca nuestro CSA tambien nos viene trayendo berenjenas sin parar desde que empezo el verano. A mi nunca me habian convencido, porque siempre me dejan picando la lengua, pero la verdad que las ultimas tandas estan viniendo buenas. A mi como mas me gustan es en forma de milanesas, el otro dia nos quedaron espectaculares, bien crocantes afuera y cremosas dentro. Pero tambien probamos la lasagna, con una mezcla de ricota, jamon, nueces, queso y unas claras de huevo, y que muy bien tambien,

19 09 2011
Constanza

Nom!!! A nosotros esta semana nos trajeron berenjenitas asiaticas. Son re chiquitas. La ultima vez que nos tocaron las hice fritas, esta vuelta las salte en aceite de sesamo con cebollas, choclo y morrones. Quedo rico!

11 01 2013
Lila Mae: Sustainable, and made in USA « Sensibly Green

[…] times I have blogged about the importance of buying local, many times that “local” extending to USA. Why? It is good for the local economy, good […]

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