CSA- Week 1

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk About Food

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their struggles and successes with healthy eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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**This post was written on July 5 in preparation for the Carnival of Natural Parenting.

Success. 🙂

This summer will be a summer of amazing vegetables in our apartment (I hope). Jason and I decided that we would share a community garden plot with some friends and also join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Our CSA is from a farm about 40 miles from where we live.  While I would like to give some great reasons like growing techniques or pest management techniques for choosing this particular CSA, but that’s not the case.  It was the only one we knew about.  So, we signed up for it.

While I hope one day to be able to rely on my own garden as our family’s primary source of summer vegetables and to be able to store other vegetables for the rest of the year, it’s a good thing that we are not relying solely on the garden for this summer’s vegetables for a few reasons. First, North Dakota isn’t exactly known for it’s long growing season. Between some late frosts and early June rain that left our garden plot with standing water for quite a while, we only planted our garden on June 16th! Second, we have a 20×20 garden, and I’m a novice planter. I didn’t use any sort of space saving methods. I didn’t do a square foot garden. My parents and I went to the garden one night. We made some rows, put down some seeds, and covered them up. Last, if we hadn’t put sticks in at the ends of the rows it would be nearly impossible to tell where any of our (tiny) vegetables were starting to grow in the midst of all the grass and weeds. While I’m currently in the process of weeding the garden by hand, it will be at least another week of work before I get through all the rows the first time.  To give you some idea of the amount of weeds and grass I am removing, imagine a grocery bag 3/4 full.  I am about 40% of the way through the garden, and I have pulled that many weeds.  Twice.  While I am grateful to be able to have a garden while living in a north facing apartment, it’s frustrating to me to spend hours upon hours upon hours pulling hundreds of weeds from our plot.

Thus, a few of the reasons for the CSA. 🙂 Over the past couple years, Jason and I have also been talking about things we want our children to know and one of them is where their food comes from. We want them to be able to enjoy eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and to understand how they come to exist. So, in addition to having a garden, we decided to join the CSA. We have been frequenting our local farmer’s market more and more, but with our children being as young as they are (just about 3 and 4 1/2), we weren’t sure they would differentiate between buying broccoli from a local farmer at a stand and buying it at the store. One of the benefits of the CSA is that the farm is pretty close and the farmer is open to visitors. At the end of the summer he hosts a potluck at his farm, and he put out an open invitation for his CSA members to make an appointment to come visit him. I’m hoping we’ll do this at least once.

This week was the first week we received a delivery from our CSA. We picked it up on Wednesday, and I’m happy to say that we ate most of the vegetables we received! We got a container of delicious, melt in your mouth strawberries, a bunch of spinach, a head of lettuce which I believe was romaine, and a bag of some kind of lettuce. The strawberries received immediate attention from our family. They were gone within 2 meals. The romaine (?) was used in salads for Kael, Jason, and myself. Unfortunately, Asa hasn’t yet come to love salads yet. I’m sure his day is coming though. 🙂 The spinach was used to make green smoothies which the boys (and Jason and I) love. The other lettuce was eaten in both salad and wraps. We didn’t eat all of it though. Tonight, I took it out of the fridge to add to our taco salad and found that the condensation in our fridge had caused it to get limp and slimy. I’ll be working on another storage method for next week’s greens. All in all, I would say our first week of eating from our CSA was a success. I’m definitely looking forward to Wednesday’s drop to see what comes in our next box.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated July 13 with all the carnival links.)

Comments

  1. I love the fact that your farmers will let you come visit! I’m with you on the weeds – holy night, my garden is shamefully overgrown!!

  2. What a great post! I’m so glad you enjoyed your CSA box – I totally hear you on the weeds; we have horsetail in our garden, which is the planets oldest plant; so you can guess that I’m never, ever going to get rid of it!
    It really concerns me and this year we grassed over 3 of our 6 beds in desperation as I just couldn’t keep up with the weeding. It was such a difficult decision to make and I felt like a total failure.

  3. I belong to a farm delivery (not a CSA) that gets in-season produce from a variety of farms. I LOVE it. And if I ever get the guts to start a garden, like you I’ll keep that delivery until I know I can rely on my own work to feed us.

    I’m curious to know from a newbie-garder: what are some other lessons you’ve learned so far about growing a garden??

  4. So fun that you’re doing a CSA delivery! We did for awhile but found we didn’t eat all the greens, either, before they turned, and it made us feel guilty. Maybe I should just shake the guilt and go back to one anyway, since it forced us to eat a wide variety of veggies every week!

    Now I’m glad we just put in our raised beds this year so that our weeds aren’t out of control. Yet. Ha ha! I’m a little scared now. We also got a late start planting things out since we had to build the beds, but things are looking nice right now. Yea for gardens!

  5. Glad you had a great first week of your CSA! We seriously considered it this year, but I was too chicken. I kept worrying about not getting our moneys-worth or wasting food if we didn’t eat what they provided. Maybe next year…

  6. Would love to see a pic. I think we’re going to do community gardening here next summer. Can’t wait!

  7. I hear you on the weeds! Our summer (in Seattle) has been really late and mild so far, which means our garden is not producing much, either. I hope we get a good growth spurt in the next month or so.

    Thats great that you will be able to visit your CSA farm. I think thats a great lesson for kids. Also, love the idea of spinach in smoothies! I just read about doing that with kale, too. Gotta try it!

  8. @Jessica- Well, I’m still *very* new, so I’m not sure I have many lessons yet. Maybe I’ll have a little more at the end of the year, but I can say that I’ve learned a few things. 1- Weeding and tilling pre-planting is important. 2- Gardening in a place where there won’t be standing water if it rains is important. 3- Gardening takes time. It seems like you can either put in a little time frequently or a lot of time at once if you let things go. 4- Make sure you know how many days your seeds need to grow. We put our garden in late and aren’t sure if we’ll get any squash or pumpkins. 5- Take pictures! This sounds funny to me, but I wish I had pictures of the garden from the very first time we put a hoe down in it until now to show much progress I’ve made in it!

    @Lauren and @Holly- We didn’t do as well eating our greens this week as last, but I figure that will happen, and we have to weigh our accomplishments with our non-accomplishments (I don’t consider not eating 3 entire heads/bags of greens a failure).

    @Beanma- Pictures coming soon! Maybe next week? I hope.

    @Kristin- Our boys really like the green smoothies. I usually put an extra banana in or some honey (or extra honey if it needs it) to make sure there’s no spinach or green-y taste. Because I do this, the boys ask for the green smoothies. They know they will be even sweeter! 🙂

  9. A friend of mine introduced me a couple of years ago to a lettuce storing method that will keep it fresh for weeks. We don’t often need it, but if I’m remembering correctly, he washes the lettuce and pulls the leaves apart, then dries it in a salad spinner. Then you lay out a clean dish towel and roll the leaves up inside it (no more than two leaves per layer). Stick in a ziploc and put in the fridge. The remaining water on the lettuce will dampen the towel, which will in turn keep the lettuce damp but not let it get slimy. I swear we were using the lettuce he gave us a month later and it was still crisp and tasty.

Trackbacks

  1. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

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  3. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  4. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  5. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  6. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  7. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  8. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  9. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  10. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  11. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  12. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  13. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  14. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  15. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  16. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

  17. […] CSA — Week 1 — Casey at What Love Is wants her children to know where their food comes from, so she joined a friendly CSA. (@CBerbs) […]

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