CSA Boxes 9 and 10….it’s like Christmas in August

CSA Box #9 and Cassius

Summer is in full swing here in Seattle and I am loving every minute of it.  Enjoying it so much that I have not been stationed in front of the computer on weekends writing but rather pursuing active home projects that will eventually be reported on this here blog: Cooking, canning, gardening, dog fun, exercise boot camp…well, maybe not that.

Last week when I collected my ninth CSA share from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market, Maureen (who works for the farm) said, “It was an exciting week!” When I got home and upacked, everything looked, felt (and ultimately tasted) delicious.

I am happiest when I have access to fresh, local food, picked ripe at the height of taste and nutrition by responsible stewards of the land and respect for animals.  Few things in my life make me feel so good  than being part of a healthy local food system.  Summertime produce makes me downright giddy.  No matter what age, income, class, race, religion, language, sex, gender and education level, I believe all humans should have the same access to good, clean, and fair food.  This wonderful food I enjoy shouldn’t be a privilege for the wealthy.  Think about it. When people are full and satisfied, they are more likely to take a nap than to rob a bank.

Here’s the contents of the Ninth CSA box:

  • Huge, ripe apricots (went into the Apricot Lavender Jam posted below)
  • 2 pints of sweet, ripe strawberries
  • half dozen eggs
  • Pattypan, crookneck and zucchini squash mixed bag
  • 1 cucumber
  • Mixed carrots bunch (purples, reds and orange)
  • Radish bunch (easter eggs)
  • Red cherry tomatoes
  • Lettuce mix

There are many, many important and good reasons to buy local food beyond concerns over the environment, but I am in strong favor of sustainable agriculture and believe there is still importance in certification.  My seasonal half share of veggies, fruit and eggs cost $710.00 with Growing Things Farm.  It costs more money and time to become certified organic.  Farms in transition from conventional to organic work hard for ten years before they can see the payoff for certified organic.  Growing Things Farm is USDA Certified Organic and are active in SnoValley Tilth and Tilth Producers of Washington.  As a member, I am part of a local food community that is based on shared values and a deep moral responsibility to help make the world a better place to live now and in the future.

Established in 1989, Growing Things Farm is a Certified Organic farm nestled on the banks of the scenic Snoqualmie River near Carnation, WA.  We are committed to using organic and sustainable practices free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).  All of our produce is Certified Organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.  A laying flock, pastured meat birds, pastured pork and grass-fed beef round out Growing Things Farm diversity.

For an upfront investment on my part, I put faith in the farm who supplies J  and I with good, clean and fair produce and eggs we’ll eat for about twenty weeks throughout the growing season here in King County.  They partner with like-minded farms east of the mountains to include stone fruits like apricots, cherries and peaches in some weekly shares.  Farmers helping farmers is a great idea that I like to support…but I sure wish avocados and coffee grew here.

CSA Box 10

Today, it’s 92 degrees in Seattle, a city where most homes and businesses do not have air conditioning.  I drove over to the Ballard Farmers Market to pick up my tenth CSA box while Jason brought in the window unit we’ve been hauling around since living in New York City (Brooklyn).  Cassius, who wears gorgeous, plush fur coat despite the weather, spends hot days laying on his side looking confused, getting up for a drink water, and laying back down again.  Even though we might not need the window unit for very long, it’s worth not having to worry about his comfort and health or ours. (This is a reminder to check in with elderly neighbors or families with limited means- bring cooling foods and water, and if you can, open your home or provide transportation to temporary safe shelter so they don’t have to suffer in this heat- thank you.)

Ballard Farmers Market was crowded but I noticed fewer kids and dogs this week.  I stopped by Alvarez Farm and handed them a pint of pickled jalapenos that I made last week from the half case of chiles I bought from them.  I also handed a pint to Clayton at Growing Washington just for making the drive to Seattle on a hot day.  To my surprise, he handed me two pints of Sungold cherry tomatoes in return!

I picked up my tenth CSA share from Growing Things Farm and transferred the contents into my big canvas bag so I wouldn’t have to carry an empty produce box around in my car for another week.  This week’s box included:

CSA Box 10, plus Cassius and a lovely summer bouquet

  • Bunch baby leeks
  • Lettuce mix
  • 2 pints strawberries (J and I ate some before taking the photo)
  • 2 pounds tricolor roasting potatoes (white, purple and red)
  • Half dozen eggs
  • 2 pounds peaches (the sweet, drip down your chin kind)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 slicing cucumbers
  • 2 lemon cucumbers

J and I already ate three peaches and I have three more left.  The leeks will be great grilled.  I have three pints of cherry tomatoes now and some pattypan squash left over from last week’s box.  Along with some fantastic bacon and organic chicken from Skagit River Ranch,  I see some excellent summertime meals in our near future.  I saw a few recipes the other day on Jamie at Home that will put the produce to really good use this week:

Here’s are the links to:

Zucchini Carbonara

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/jamie-oliver/beautiful-zucchini-carbonara-recipe/index.html

Crispy and Sticky Chicken Thighs with Squashed New Potatoes and Tomatoes

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jamie-oliver/crispy-and-sticky-chicken-thighs-with-squashed-new-potatoes-and-tomatoes-recipe/index.htmlA closer look at that box...you can't see the hand about to grab another peach

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