Shortly after we moved to CO, I signed up for a CSA (community-supported agriculture) produce co-op.  Essentially, with the local farm I selected, you select the size produce basket desired for your family, pay in advance for the whole season, then every week for roughly 28 weeks, they supply you with your share of the farm harvest.  I have heard of these, but had never tried one.  However, we decided it would be a great intro to dealing with the crops on our future farm, as you have to eat whatever is in season.  WOW, was I ever in for a shock!

A one-week supply of veggies.

I selected the “Family Share,” which the website stated was sized for a family of 4.  I figured since our kiddos were so young, it should work perfectly.  The first week, as is common in the late spring, my basket included almost 10 pounds of greens!  There was romaine lettuce, red-leaf lettuce, and spinach running out the whazoo!  It also had some herbs and rhubarb.  I quickly froze up the spinach, dehydrated the herbs, and we ate as much of the lettuce as we could.  Despite our efforts, though, I still had so much green stuff left when the following week’s delivery showed up, that I passed some off to the neighbors. 

Last week, I got a similiar bunch of items, with the addition of some radishes, beets, and green onions.  We did a little better, but by this week’s delivery, I still had several pounds of greens left–which were again offered to appreciative neighbors. 

This week (seen in the picture above), I got about 6 pounds of lettuces and spinach, cilantro, parsley, dill, green onions, spring onions, baby radishes, baby beets, rhubarb, kohlrabi, kale, and English peas.  We spent the evening shelling peas, dehydrating the herbs, and researching recipes for the other stuff.  Geepers, I have never even heard of kohlrabi, and had no clue what to do with the kale!

Shelling peas

Preparing herbs for the dehydrator.

Despite the excessive amounts of green leaves in my house, we are learning so much!  I will definitely plant less green stuff on our farm than originally planned, as it is plentiful.  I am also having to learn how to develop my menus for the week around the produce received for that week.  Today for example, we experimented with a lunch of sautee’d curry and garlic kohlrabi, wilted spinach pasta salad, and rhubarb crunch for desert.  It was different, but overall, we enjoyed the new flavors. 

I am greatly looking forward to the coming weeks, as the growing season takes us away from greens and into more colors and varieties of veggies.  In addition, within the next week or two, the fruit season will kick off, and I will be getting a family share of fruit as well.  I can’t wait to experiment with preserves, freezing, canning, saucing, and whatever else I can think up to do with this stuff! 

In case you live around CO, we use Grant Family Farms.  They have a huge selection of packages to meet everyone’s needs.  They also have choices of veggie shares, fruit shares, preserving shares, pastured eggs, and all sorts of pasture-raised meats.  It’s all organic and natural, tastes delicious, and you have a chance to support local farmers.  If you sign on, mention that I recommended them. 

Oh, and when we process all this produce, there is, of course, a bit of waste that remains:

onion roots, pea shells, stems, etc.

Now that I am getting to know my food better, I have a greater appreciation for it.  I hate wasting this stuff by just tossing it in the trash, and on base, we aren’t allowed to compost outside due to the wildlife it would potentially attract.  So I had to develop a plan.  Now, I feed it to the worms!  More on that another day, though!