Posts Tagged ‘csa’

What do I do with the fennel?

The start of the CSA season couldn’t come soon enough! This summer, even though I tried to shop for local produce at nearby farmers markets, it was all too easy to backslide, and to gradually eat less and less fresh food (other than mangoes, avocados, and salads). Don’t get me wrong, I love vegetables. But there’s something about opening up a packed-full box of produce and just diving in.

This Friday, as I set up to take photographs of the shares, I felt that familiar thrill as I opened the first boxes of the season. Oooh, what’s in here? Star fruit, yum! Followed closely by, what am I going to do with fennel? Will I even like it? No matter, I’ll try anything once. And there’s a recipe for caramelized fennel in the CSA newsletter. But still, what do I do with the tops??

If anything, belonging to the CSA has introduced me to new things that I never saw or tasted before. If they weren’t in the box, I would never have tried them or known about them. I remember feeling really adventurous eating black sapote and canistel,  and took to saying, “You won’t find that in a grocery store!” Belonging to a CSA delightfully stretched me out of my comfort zone of eating.

Photographing the shares is a great privilege. I get to see in advance what’s in the box, and share it with you on this blog and in the farm newsletter. It amazes me every week how farmer Margie and her crew manage to cram all that goodness into one box. Easy enough to dismantle it all, but don’t ask me to repack it the same way!

Opening the first box of the season.

Opening the first box of the season.

Arranging different items for the photograph can be tricky. This week the challenge was — what do I do with the fennel? Its fluffy fronds take up so much space. Does it go in the front? Off to one side? In the back? There’s a lot of tweaking things, and stepping back to peer through the viewfinder. Once it looks right, click click click! What you see is what you’ll get, no faking. The most I’ll do is use some hidden props to hold things in place. No matter what’s in the box, the recurring challenge is, how do I place each item so you can clearly see what it is. The picture has to be distinct in black and white for the printed newsletter, too.

Once a farm volunteer asked me, “Do the veggies speak to you?” Always the smart aleck, I shot back, “Yeah, they say eat me!” She looked disappointed. Truth is, they do speak in a gentle whisper, beseeching like any divalicious model, “Make me look good. I want people to love me.” And I do want them to look attractive, vibrant and three dimensional. It’s my weekly zen practice, as it were.

And then I get to cook and eat my subjects. Fun! Dinner’s ready!


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artisanal fair

Saturday, September 28, 2013
12 noon to 4:00 pm
Free admission

The Wolfsonian Museum is teaming up with local farms and makers of food products for this all-about-the-local-food-you eat event.

Artisanal Fair @ The Wolf and CSA Sign-Up is a fantastic opportunity to meet your local farmers. Come find out more about local food grown by Margie Pikarsky of Bee Heaven Farm and sign up for one of her Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm shares.

Teena Borek from Teena’s Pride CSA and Muriel Olivares from Little River Market Garden CSA (sold out for this season!) will also be there. Buying from a CSA a great way to support a local farmer, and get fresh produce every week during our harvest season.

Participating local food vendors include: Cao Chocolates, The Cheesecake Gallery, Dauphin Kaffee artisanal coffees, Freakin’ Flamingo jams and jellies, Pop Nature popsicles and paletas, Proper Sausages, and Simply Sharon’s “treats that heal.”

At 2:00 pm, take a special guided tour of the current Modern Meals exhibit. It will be led by museum staff and Teena Borek.

This event is co-presented by The Village Stand gourmet shop and Slow Food Miami.

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Little green guest

What kind of frog is this?

What kind of frog is this?

You never know what you’ll find in your CSA box. Got mine home and started unpacking it. As I lifted up the bunch of yukina savoy, something flew out of the leaves and landed back in the box. I spotted a small green frog, looking very bewildered. My camera was handy, so I grabbed a few shots while the little guy wasn’t doing much. It seemed dazed by bright kitchen lights, and after this picture, stuck its head under some broccoli, trying to get out of the light.

I couldn’t leave it in the box — there were vegetables to put away. I couldn’t let it hang out with veggies in the frig — it was too cold. And running loose in my apartment wouldn’t be good for either of us.

What to do? Lucky for froggie, I have plants on the balcony. I picked up the frog gently. It was cool and clammy to the touch, and squirmed a bit in my hand. Put it in a big jar to transport it carefully to the plants, and looked it over. It was quite pretty — chartreuse green and creamy white underneath. Anybody know what kind of frog this is? Am assuming that it came from Worden Farm.

The lime green salad tomato plant is very leafy and can offer my little guest lots of cover from the sun, and plenty of white flies to munch on. After a bit of coaxing, the frog left the jar. It was dark and I couldn’t see where he went. Hope he’ll be ok. There’s a small gecko that hangs out on the balcony, so he’ll have company.

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Hidden in fennel

While packing shares last Friday, farm hand Victor spotted this beauty.

While packing shares last Friday, farm hand Victor spotted this beauty.

CSA members, did you look carefully at the fronds of fennel that was in your share box last week? You might have been lucky enough to get a caterpillar!

Look carefully, there’s a thin line holding it in place on the branch of fennel. The caterpillar is starting its transformation into a chrysalis, and from there, will emerge as a butterfly. Anybody got any ideas what what kind of butterfly this might become?

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Now is the time to sign up for farmers’ producer-sharing plans

Miami-Dade food loves can sign up now to get a share of fresh-grown produce straight from local farms.

By Christina Veiga cveiga@MiamiHerald.com

Fall marks the beginning of the main growing season for farmers in deep South Miami-Dade County. It’s also a time when veggie-lovers can join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture program.

CSA members pay in advance for fresh produce grown at local farms, explained Diane Diaz, who helps run Teena’s Pride CSA in Homestead.

Members get a share of the CSA’s harvest, the size of which will depend in part on Mother Nature. “It’s kind of like buying stocks into the farm, and as long as we don’t have a hurricane or a freeze, then your stocks are secure,” she said.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/04/2984348/now-is-the-time-to-sign-up-for.html

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