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Tag Archives: CSA

Addicted To Kiwiberries

Every fall when these little berries show up in our fruit share, I marvel at just how good they are.

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Kiwiberries from Kiwiberry Organics, in PA. What amazes me on their web site is the nutritional information for these berries.

Besides their high quantities of vitamins and minerals, they just taste great.

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I like just snacking on them or putting them in salads, but I have been tempted to make jam from them. Or to create a berry nectar to freeze and use all winter. The problem I have is keeping enough of them around to do those things.

According to the web site, you can find them at Wegmans, Trader Joes and Whole Foods, but I have never seen them.

We get them three or four times in our CSA fruit share. In fact, we are getting them again this Tuesday.

They supposedly like the weather around here and the farm in PA grows the largest amount in the world, according to their information. I do know we could buy plants and try to grow them ourselves. I may just do that next year. They would be a welcome addition to my garden.

Opportunities and Adjustments

Fall is coming. I wore a jacket this morning when I headed up to the post office and to Jenny’s to get a few things. The tomato plants are dying off. The garden is pretty much over and done with, except for the garden salsa pepper plant that keeps on giving.

The farmer’s markets will wind down in the next 4-6 weeks. Most Community Supported Agriculture programs are coming to the end of the season.

It’s time for me to adjust what I get, in order to keep fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese coming into the house.

For those looking to find a source once the markets close down, I have found my two choices work well for us. They appeal to me because I can tailor them. Adjust the sizes.

Friends and Farms is year round seasonal. They have a few promotions going right now. Like a sample “Quick and Easy” basket, as well as the choice to buy a sample of any of their other options.

We have been getting the protein and dairy option, since I love my CSA with its “off the beaten path” weird veggies. I don’t want the same eight items rotated through the house. I like the diversity. But, protein and dairy gives us the right portions and allows us to get our veggies elsewhere.

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Local meats. Made here in Maryland. If you notice the absence of dairy, it’s because I don’t drink milk, so I chose the option of a “surprise me” vegetable as a substitute. We do get cheese once a month on this plan.

As for Lancaster Farm Fresh, they continue to refine their product to make it as flexible as they can. For fall, two vegetable share sizes. Options for meat, cheese, eggs, bread, chicken and fruit.

I like getting fresh fruit and vegetables before the holidays. Like our Thanksgiving basket.

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Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes. This was a medium share. Perfect for a couple that likes vegetables, or a family with little ones. Now, that nine pound squash? If I had children or grandchildren, it would have made a huge amount of baby food. As it was, I used it in a number of ways.

This fall, I am returning to a large basket, and adding cheese, bread and fruit.

Now that I know I can get chicken and other meats from Carroll Farm to Table when I need something, I don’t need the meat share from the CSA. Right now, the CSA and Friends and Farms keep us in just about the correct amount of protein to make 5-6 meals a week.

We have adjusted here though. We were getting more ground beef than I am used to cooking. I’ve been creative. I’ve been traditional. I made meat loaf. I made lasagna. I use the crock pot at least once a week. But, we still aren’t huge ground beef eaters, so I will be eliminating one source of that.

The freezer is full. The CSA and Friends and Farms adjusted for fall. I am ready for the change in seasons.


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An abundance. A very large amount. A very heavy CSA basket.

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It is obvious that this is the height of harvest for our supplying farmers. When they said eggplant, they meant two. When they said mixed cherry tomatoes, there were two boxes. When they said red cabbage, there were two of them also.

As for the rest of the stuff, we are again blessed with watermelons. For I think the fourth week in a row, twice we had yellow seedless, once a monster regular and once a smaller seeded variety. And at least a half dozen cantaloupes this summer. Even our newsletter called this the summer of the watermelons. The weather cooperated in making them large and juicy.

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Have you had the pleasure of tasting a yellow seedless melon? They are simply awesome.

As for what we are doing with this bounty. How about baked casserole?

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Layered eggplant, yellow squash, onions, red pepper, tomato and goat cheese. Covered in a light vinaigrette and oregano. Baked for an hour until absolutely delicious. Served over this.

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I heated a few naan after sprinkling with za’atar and scallions. Roasted chicken legs and boiled some corn. What a wonderful Sunday night dinner. Nothing like fresh vegetables a few days out of the ground. If you haven’t been taking advantage of the many farmers markets, you should. Or, if you are blessed with a CSA that gives you fresher than grocery store produce, you know what I mean.

Now, tomorrow, I need to make fritters from the latest tromboncini I got from my garden.

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Zucchini on steroids. The Italian heirloom is still producing in my garden.

Anything interesting growing in your garden?


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Or lack thereof due to the high concentration of garlic in the house.

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After all, how many people do you know that are curing garlic in their laundry rooms? The garlic hanging there is destined for the Howard County Food Bank. The first of many harvests to give us about a month’s worth of garlic to donate. I took about a dozen heads of garlic out of the ground this week. The largest ones, which were already turning brown on their tops. The rest. Will get harvested as they dry out. If it ever stops raining. Garlic is easy to grow, but needs to be dried somewhere cool and dry.

Besides that garlic, I have scapes from the CSA and green garlic also. Green garlic are those immature plants that are culled out to make room for the more robust plants that will become mature garlic.

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In this picture you can see green garlic on the right and scapes all curled up on the left. I made some pesto. Cut some in pieces to use in stir fry dinners. I should have left a few of them whole so I could wrap bacon around them and grill them. Too late for this batch.

If you have never had scapes, I know that Love Dove Farms sells them at the various county markets. I used to buy mine there before the CSA started inundating us with scapes.

Tonight a few ended up in this meal.

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An almost completely locally sourced meal. The salad. Arugula and butter lettuce and chive blossoms from my garden. The main dish. Pappardelle’s garlic chive pasta from Secolari, served with shrimp from Friends and Farms. Pesto from my freezer (last year’s basil). Snow peas, scallions and scapes from the CSA.

With all this garlic, there will be no vampires in this part of western HoCo.

Tidbit Tuesday Again

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Just some random thoughts on a Tuesday evening.

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The zucchini are officially out of control already, less than a week after finding the first few. The behemoth in the picture weighed 24 ounces and was hiding (the usual ploy of zucchini not wanting to be harvested). All told. 84 ounces in 8 zucchini. And, this is just the beginning.

Notice the two little mini white cucumbers. My first cukes of the season. Pickling cukes. They are far ahead of the other cucumbers. All of these vegetables came from my #grow100 challenge area. What can you grow in 100 square feet? Obviously, beaucoup zucchini.

Moving on to other pictures from my camera since the weekend, congratulations to the volunteer of the year at the conservancy, Woody Merkle. We swear he lives there, we see him all the time.

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We had our volunteer appreciation strawberry social on Sunday. Well attended. Lovely berries from Baugher’s and ice cream from Hoffman’s.

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Today after harvesting for the food bank and for the winners of the auction basket at Wine in the Garden, I got those zucchini and cukes and headed off for my CSA pick up.

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Something new. Red Leaf cheese. Not just any cheese, but an award winning goat cheese with attitude. The joys of our CSA. Finding things like this.

This week we also got something new in our meat share.

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Country spare ribs from the heritage hogs at Razorbacks and Barbed Wire Farm. We have gotten pork chops from this farm. Very tasty. I am thinking ribs tomorrow night.

As for the fruit share.

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Stayman apples and strawberry jam. I just finished the raspberry jam from the winter CSA. Am so happy to see a new flavor to try. Heaven on toast in the morning.

My veggie share?

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Completely insane. Almost too much to photograph. There will be lots of cooking going on. I am thinking of using the massive escarole in a soup with the last of the green garlic. Romano beans and snow peas.

OK, another new one.

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Dandelion greens.

We are slowly transitioning into summer, with a mix of squash and beans, and many different greens.

Scapes Season

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It has arrived. Garlic scape season.

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That first bunch of scapes in the CSA box from Lancaster Farm Fresh. Time to head over to the recipe page and start browsing.

It was a great transition box this week.

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Strawberries and rhubarb in the fruit share. Spring onions. Baby fennel. Greens. Beets. Cilantro and mint.

The meat share.

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Beef stir fry. Pork links. Boneless pork chops.

Tonight I was just in the mood for a stir fry. Using quite a bit of the box, and one of those precious scapes.

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Scapes, scallions and chard stems. In the wok with some light olive oil and toasted sesame oil. Fresh ginger.

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Add beef, soy sauce, straw mushrooms and curly kale.

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Served over brown rice. With a very lovely Linden Rose.

Get yourself to the local farmers markets and see if Love Dove Farms has their usual supply of scapes. So many ways to make them. Not just in pesto.

A short season, but a flavorful one.

Coop Benefits

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Strawberries. Many, many strawberries.

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I think almost everyone got strawberries today at our Cooperative CSA pick up. The benefits of a good season. When we get much more than expected due to a good yield.

We got an email last week. It said “Surprise!” Fruit shares were starting a week early. Without any cost. Two pints of organic strawberries for all our fruit share members. That’s a lot of us in Columbia. I think we have 40 fruit shares at our pick up site.

Plus, the small, medium and large vegetable shares had strawberries tucked in our boxes, too. All told, I went home with 48 ounces of berries. Sweet. Juicy. Ready for desserts or baking or maybe margaritas.

The large share had ten more items this week. Huge amounts.

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There were white kohlrabi. Red and white scallions. Green garlic. Another POUND of spring mix. Red leaf lettuce. Green butterhead lettuce. Rhubarb. Galantina chicory. Baby crinkled cress.

Still that heavy greens season. Can’t wait for the transition to summer vegetables but we are enjoying the salad mixes.

I also picked up my weekly meat share.

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I should have done a happy dance for that bone in ham steak. We got one last winter. The best ham steak we have ever eaten. We also got my favorite chicken, the boneless thighs. And, bacon. The bacon is different. I bake it, and use it for greens and frittatas. Flavorful, but definitely fatty.

Biweekly cheese share this week too. A full basket to bring home.

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My fave. The Millich Kivvel.

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So creamy. Yet pretty assertive, if you eat the rind, like my other half does.

Lancaster Farm Fresh keeps getting better and better. A really good value. Very fresh food, that lasts for weeks in the fridge. And surprises. Like those strawberries.


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