Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mattawoman Creek Farms CSA

Don and I already belong to the Coastal Farms online food co-op and have been very happy with it. It's a type of community-supported agriculture, or CSA, program. We pick up or orders every Thursday from our favorite local restaurant, the Cutting Edge Cafe. The food there is fresh and wholesome, and the owners, Matt and Melanie, are active in the local foods movement.

So when Melanie informed me that their restaurant was going to be a new drop-off station for Mattawoman Creek Farms, a USDA-certified organic farm on Virginia's Eastern Shore, I had to bite--pun intended! Unlike the online co-op, Mattawoman's program is a true farm share. We pay for our share of a season's produce in advance, and each week we pick up a huge bag full of vegetables, whatever is fresh and seasonal that week. We do get a day or so's notice about what is coming, along with pictures, storage, and recipe tips.

This type of CSA is for adventurous eaters like Don and me. It's not for the reticent or picky. The food is fresh and delicious, but we need to be willing to cook and eat whatever comes along. Luckily for us, I have a lot of cookbooks, including Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

I'll  leave you with some pictures of today's order as well as what I've cooked with it so far. I still have kale, lettuce, arugula, a few carrots, and bunching onions to cook up later in the week.

This week's share next to a gallon bottle of vinegar to judge the size

We've been getting lots of kale and other cabbage-family plants. This kale is fresh and SWEET!

We were pleased to get some carrots this week

A few bunching onions will add flavor to salads and other dishes

A baby cabbage is the perfect size for a batch of coleslaw

We received two beautiful heads of lettuce and will be eating healthy salads for lunch!

Purple Osaka (mustard) was new to us

Purple Osaka mustard leaf. It's so spicy when raw, it made my eyes water!

Some of the kale and Osaka mustard made a nice salad along with some quinoa

The cabbage and some of the carrots and onions combined with a black radish I had on hand to make a spicy slaw

A salad spinner is great for washing, drying, and even storing greens like this salad, which features lettuce and arugula

There's almost no waste in our home. Our chickens will eat these trimmings. We also vermicompost
The smallest share at Mattawoman is meant for a family of four. Don and I are two people, so eating this many vegetables is a commitment on our part. It's a commitment that pleases the palate, though. We'd had a neighbor who was thinking of buying half our share, but it didn't work out. I wish it had!

Maybe we should invite her over to dinner.

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