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Viva La Difference!

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Five weeks in. Two different sources of local and regional food. They have their strengths and a couple of weaknesses. But, all in all, they are a good fit for how I cook.

How is a CSA different from the regional buying service? I think I am getting there at understanding it all.

Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. Seventy five farms in Amish country. Almost all of them organic. Lots of options, but you pay for the whole season up front.

This year I picked a half share. Since I have a garden. And my Friends and Farms subscription.

That means I get 4-7 organic items weekly. This week we got six items.

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The spring heavy veggies, as PA is slightly behind us in MD, season wise.

A large Napa cabbage on the right. A robust head of romaine. Enough garlic scapes to make more pesto. A healthy amount of snow peas. Three kohlrabi. And a bunch of asparagus.

This year I added on a couple of extras. Like a fruit share.

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This week, strawberries and rhubarb. Perfect to make a crisp or crumble.

The chicken share. Every week, 3-4 pounds of chicken. This week.

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A whole heritage bird. I really enjoy grilling or roasting these chickens, and making stock from the skin, bones and innards.

As for my other major food source, Friends and Farms. We are signed up for an individual share this summer. A thirteen week commitment. We have also done a small share when it isn’t CSA or gardening season.

I like getting the mix of veggies, fruit, protein, dairy and bread.

This week. The protein.

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Andouille sausage. Bacon. Chicken breasts. The Andouille was dinner tonight. With a side of braised cabbage. The chicken. Will be a stir fry Sunday. This week we also got a dozen eggs. And, these veggies and a fruit.

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An onion. Garlic. Kohlrabi. A yellow squash. Tomatoes. Radishes. Kale. Blueberries.

My add ons this week. A way to get more without going to a store.

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Yogurt, to make tzatziki and a few dressings. Butter, not pictured.

As for the ice cream. Given as a credit because some of the mussels last week were cracked or dead. As usual, the company comes through if the products aren’t up to their standards.

Between these two sources, we get a huge majority of our food. One requires a season paid in advance, and not a large amount of substitution. But the quality is excellent. As is the variety.

The other. Excellent flexibility and customization options.

Who needs Giant Food? Or the new Whole Paycheck coming to Columbia? Not those of us who know we get great food at better pricing than Whole Paycheck, and better quality than Giant.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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