Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

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Several years ago I began reading about something called CSA on other people’s blogs.  They were talking about how wonderful it was to be able to get a box of fresh vegetables every week.  They also loved that they were being introduced to new vegetables.  I knew then and there, that this is what I needed.  I grew up in a family that was one generation off the farm and yes we had a huge garden.  I don’t ever remember having store bought canned vegetables.  During the summer we ate fresh and during the winter we ate vegetables that we had canned or frozen, depending on the vegetable.  I don’t have the space or the desire to garden so this would be a perfect fit for me and my family.  Sadly, for there wasn’t any program near us.  I live in Eastern Iowa, along the Mississippi but close enough to the farms that people weren’t doing this.  Finally this wonderful idea moved to the midwest, but the farmers were only promoting this in the bigger cities.  If I wanted to join a CSA, I would have to drive about an hour or more to pick up each week’s package.  Figured that this would negate the benefits of getting the fresh vegetables, plus I really didn’t want to spend over 2 hours on the road every Saturday (or whenever pickup would be).  I can think of many better ways of spending my time on a Saturday. Finally, I heard of a CSA that was just across the river (state boundary) however they were including fresh mushrooms.  Since I am allergic to them, that wouldn’t be a good idea. Fast forward to the middle of June this year, and I hear about a CSA program from a farm about an hour or so away.  The best part is that they would be delivering to a town only 20 minutes from where I live.  Now since I work in this town, it wouldn’t be that big of a problem to drive out there once a week during the summer (when I am off) and pick it up.  Today was the first day and I am so excited.  You can see in the picture above what all we received.  Of course I have already had a tomato.  Yummy.  Already planning on how I can use the potatoes, corn, and cucumbers.  Excitedly looking for recipes for the zucchini and summer squash.  Both of these are foods that we didn’t have growing up.  I believe because my dad didn’t really like them, because I have discovered that my mom grew up with them and really enjoys them.  Can’t wait to see what next week’s bundle includes and to see if we get to try any new veggies.

Let the good eating begin.  Oh and if you have a recipe for the Zucchini and summer squash, please feel free to send it to me.  Thanks

 

Two Part Summer

For years now, I have always mentally divided my summer into two parts.

Part 1: This started the day school ended for the summer and lasts until the last day of the county fair.  Here I think I have lots of free time, except I am pushing a child to get her 4-H projects done, including the write ups.  This is a never ending struggle that always last up to the very last minute.  This year she finally finished everything around 11:30 pm the day before conference judging, had to be there at 7:00 am. Every year I beg her to begin working on her projects sometime in October, but like a typical teenager, she believes that she needs to sit around the house and not accomplish much of anything.

Part 2: This begins the day after the county fair ends.  All of the sudden, my brain switches into school mode.  I will wake up in the middle of the night with an idea or two or three or…. I then need to get up and write these down or I will forget them.  I start making lists of things that I need to get done in my classroom so that I am ready for the first day.  I start going into school to work, so that I can access the copier before there is a crowd of people and it breaks down again.  So this year the fair was a week and a half/two weeks early.  I was really hoping that my mind would give me a break for a couple of weeks.  Sadly that didn’t happen.  Yes, I was already thinking up new ideas for this year, and today my brain wanted to sit down at my computer and lesson plan book and plan out an entire semester for one class and start to gather things for my other classes.  I even tried to concentrate on planning for the state fair this year.  My daughter has to be there early on a Friday and early on the Sunday, since it is a 3 hour drive, have decided that it would be better to go out and stay for 4 days.  But that didn’t help.  Even as I was researching and planning for the fair, my mind was thinking school in the background.

It won’t be long now.