Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Farmshare Project

I'm not even going to make a smooth segue into this new project of mine because I want you to just dive right in with me just the same way I did two years ago before I realized that a person could be stalked by chard (not a pun. I don't enjoy puns.) or in love with a Brussels sprout.

We're going to just jump right into this Farmshare Project series with both feet. 


Our weekly Regular Season farmshare (April-November) started back up last week and a lot of familiar emotions did, too. Like the OH CRAP Now We Have To Eat All This Stuff in a Single Week emotion and the Do We Have Room in the Composter For This Chard emotion.

These are specific emotions we're talking about here.

But lots of other good emotions came back, too - like when I realized we were going to have fresh strawberries and artichokes and nearly peed the floor with excitement. And when I saw kale on the list of 'What's in the box this week' and was relieved because we are out of kale and I need it? for a recipe I've been wanting to make.

If you jump in with both feet, you too may find yourself wishing for kale, I'll just warn you now. It's a weird feeling, but it's good for you, so you don't have to see your physician about it or rub a special cream on it or anything. Wow, gross.

And if you're starting to wonder at what point I wandered off the path of sanity and began randomly ranting about a box of vegetables, here's where I get to the point. 

I feel like more people would subscribe to farmshares (CSAs) if they were less freaked out by the amount and variety of vegetables showing up every week. 

And that would be good because it would mean more people supporting smaller local farms and eating food that won't give you a tail.

And I prefer to associate myself with people without tails? 

Eh, really I just want to encourage people to subscribe to CSAs because mine enriches my life on a weekly basis and the move from grocery store produce to CSA-grown produce has been a very good and lovely one.

There, that's better than being an anti-tail-ite.

So, I'm going to try to show up here on a weekly basis with a photo of our farmshare take, a list of what was in said take and what I did with it so that if you, too, decide to jump on board with a farmshare in your area, you might not panic when you get your big box of greenery because you know that there are recipes and strategies and door-ditching ideas here at my place to which you can refer in times of vegetable-induced panic. 

Let's get started.

Let's stop again. For an informative bulleted list! Fun! Wow. My life is small.
Let me be clear about how ours works:
  • We split a Family Share box with our neighbors, which is the largest size available from our farm, and more than enough for our household of 2.
  • We pick it up every week from a house in our neighborhood that functions as the pick-up point. 
  • We don't actually *get* a box - just a big bag inside the box from which we split out the produce. 
  • I call it a farmshare even though the world calls them CSAs. Just deal. 
  • Sometimes we get fruit in our share, sometimes not. If we wanted to, we could also get an egg, bread or fruit share, but we don't. 
  • The cost of splitting this weekly box of green lovin' is $578, or $17/week.
  • That's all I can think of to mention.

Last week's box had:
Sprouts 'salad' mix - sunflower, pea, buckwheat, broccoli and radish 
Fuji apples
Red beets 
Rainbow chard
Collard "rapini"
Green garlic 
Red Russian kale
French breakfast radishes

And their fate was:

We ate them
Sprouts 'salad' mix - sunflower, pea, buckwheat, broccoli and radish: Salad for Book Club
Fuji apples: Stored in the fridge and ate raw
Green garlic:  Thai Chicken Soup  
Red Russian kale: White Bean Pasta w/ Kale
French breakfast radishes: Thai Chicken Soup
Strawberries: Eaten raw for dessert one night because we're wild animals.
Leeks: White Bean Pasta w/ Kale (chop white and light green part and add it in when you add the garlic)

We stored them
Red beets   

We composted them
Rainbow chard
Collard "rapini" 

And for those of you going, "Well, great - you 'stored' all that stuff, but you still have to eat it - what about that, smart guy?!", I will tell you that:

1. I am not a guy
2. Those "stored" items can all handle being stored and don't really *have* to be eaten immediately each week. And some of them, like rutabagas, work better when you have more of them so that you can make a rutabaga mash, which is a lot like mashed potatoes, so obviously we love them. 

Anyway, when I use up these "stored" things, I'll tell you and then you can pass on the wisdom in the form of mashed rutabagas or fresh carrot juice or what have you. It'll be fine. You'll see.

And if anyone's worried about how come I don't give the chard to someone who can eat it - well, sometimes I remember to take it out of the farmshare box and put it in the donation box and sometimes I don't, so when I don't, it goes in the composter. This also applies to collards, which I do not enjoy. I'm sorry if this offends you on a personal level or if you were hoping to find collard or chard recipes here, because you will not. Anymore, anyway. 

Apologies. And blech.

But there should be lots of recipes (not all my very own, but they're probably still good. I guess. Also, I'm very modest.) for other things, and methods for preparing weird things (put your requests in the comments and maybe I show you how I make, say, rutabaga mash.) and answers to the "What the F do I do with ______?" question or the similar, "What the F do I do with a TON of ________?"
It'll be a good time. And, hey, you might be less skerred of farmshares after this and maybe want to find one of your own.

Plus, won't it be fun to watch me have a total meltdown when we're getting the weekly farmshare AND my garden is in full HARVEST ME NOW mode? Yes. It's a good time for all. Except me, of course. Because I'm worried to the bone about waste


  1. I can't join the local CSA because it's pickup only and I would probably only be able to get there about half the time (and no refunds, etc if you don't make it). Bleh.

    I have discovered that dogs will eat crunchy raw veggies. Mine think yellow squash and cucumber are fun tasty treats, which is good because a pair of squash plants and a pair of cucumber plants produce more than one couple can consume in an entire year, no matter how I try. And I always plant a couple, just in case something happen to one.

  2. High five and a butt-slap to you! If nothing else, our CSA made me actually try veges I was sure I allergic to. Ok, just plain hate.

    I'm definitely looking forward to your recipes for items that I constantly mumble the words "What the F do I do with THAT?" AND the entertainment of your meltdown. (Yes, I'm a sadistic bitch. Oh well). Let the games begin!

  3. I looked into the local "farmshares" last year and for our size family, well ... it was not affordable at all. Then I started to remember how darn picky every person is in my family (and was reminded that very thing during dinner tonight) and decided I'd have to eat most of it myself. So, no farmshares are in my future. Immediate or otherwise.

  4. I like farmshare wwwwwaaaaaaaaaayy better than CSA. Too many damn acronyms in this world. All those capital letters. blech.

    You are one funny bitch, Finny. What with the goring tails and chard talk.

    Seriously though (not that I am not serious about your funniness cause I am hella serious. No I don't say hella), I think you are right about people feeling overwhelmed. And I think you are doing a great service here on this blog with your weekly update.

    Also, I never subscribe because I grow stuff and worry I'll be up to my ears in peas or something...but you get amazing shit that we wouldn't....dunno. You inspired me to look into it even though I am fairly certain there will not be any artichokes in my box.bag.

  5. It's nice you're so willing to help people, Finny. I like to bitch about all our vegetables, but I never tell anyone what I do with them. Me=not helpful.

    But I will say that rutabagas are also yummy roasted. As are most vegetables.

  6. Thanks for the link! Last time I checked there were none in our area but THIS time there is! I think I'll do the trial after we get back from vacation.

  7. First off, your posts are extremely entertaining (whether that is your purpose or not, I was smiling and laughing in parts)...Thank you for that!

    I love the idea of splitting your farm share/csa with another family and the cost break down. My husband and I look forward to seeing what else comes to you in your farm share basket over the next weeks/months as we hope to someday run a farm share/csa of our own!


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Sucks, right?

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