CSA’s and Markets. The places to get really fresh local vegetables in the winter. Not that easily decaying slimy stuff from the grocery stores.
I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to bring back discussion of local winter sources, like my year round CSA, for vegetables and farm fresh staples.
Lora clued me in on her source, which I hadn’t seen before. Open Book Farm Share. I would love to try this, but it isn’t local to me.
I have been a member of Lancaster Farm Fresh for eight years now. 48 out of 52 weeks a year, I can pick up farm shares with vegetables as fresh as one day out of the ground. Picked on Monday. Packed that night. Delivered on Tuesday.
In the winter, though, many vegetables are root veggies. Picked before bad weather and stored in optimum conditions. We all know that root cellars existed just to keep these vegetables fresh all winter.
Our shares include the standard items like carrots and onions, turnips, potatoes. We also get fresh mushrooms, and last week from the high tunnels, cilantro.
I love the mushrooms. I used two of them to make crab stuffed mushrooms. Thanks to Boarman’s for crab cakes. I also picked up mushrooms at the Catonsville Market, and made mushroom soup.
The classic way. Using Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Rich. Decadent. Perfect with tomato pesto smeared toast.
I also have a grain and flour share.
Last week we got a new cornmeal. Prompting me to use up the last of the old cornmeal to make ribs over polenta.
Castle Valley Mill supplies our CSA with grits and cornmeal. This is a cold weather, “stick to your ribs” rib dinner.
I also get cheese, biweekly.
Cheeses that work as an element on toasts. As a complement to wine. Served over salads. Grated on top of soup.
I know that there will be repeats weekly, at least for the first four or five weeks. Like carrots.
A few pounds of carrots last week. Organic. All you need to do is wash them. Don’t need to remove the peel. I have a favorite method for carrots. Cut them into coins. Boil them for about 10 minutes. Drain them. Put them back in the pot with butter and honey and cumin. Let them get glazed.
Today, they were used to make beef stock. Winter veggies with beef bones and water. Slow cooked. Ready to make beef barley soup tomorrow night.
It’s soup and stew season and my veggie share is the perfect place to start.