Last Saturday was Farm Day with our CSA. It's the last pickup of the season, and they invite all the members out to the farm to see where the food is grown and glean the fields. For our last pickup we got an insane amount of grey Hubbard hard squash, a baking pumpkin, a pile of tomatoes, a half gallon of homemade organic, local apple cider, fresh roasted green chilies, and a huge bag of apples. After we hauled all that back to the car, Bobby and I hit the fields. I really, REALLY wish I had brought my camera to the farm, but at least we had a good time photographing the pile of food we brought home, as we laughed and told each other about 10 times "getting a CSA was SO worth it".
We both agreed we should lay everything out on the table and take a picture. It was pretty ridiculous.
In addition to the potatoes, carrots, peppers, broccoli, swiss chard, corn, and tomatoes we gleaned from the field, we also got to pick out a carving pumpkin. Here I am for size reference. Bobby said a few times "this is the best Halloween pumpkin I've ever had!". Thanks for making dreams come true CSA. You're a peach.
You might be thinking, what do you do with all those squash?? The good thing is, these gray guys will last until March, provided they are stored in a dark, temperature controlled, fairly cool place...
so now they're living on the shelf in our laundry room. Their more colorful friends will last until December this way.
This is a HUGE wooden bowl in the middle of our dining room table, filled with apples.
Then we took about two hours to wash, chop, and store all the fridge worthy veggies.
More veggies and the chard filling up both drawers- the left one that's closed is more of the same.
All of the onions, potatoes, shallots, garlic, and beets we got will be going in a wire hanging basket we scored from Goodwill for $1.50, but it needs to be hung. So for now they're living in a canvas bag.
We have been eating like crazy this whole week, and you can bet that the apple cider is almost gone. I need to use the chilies soon before their roasted awesomeness is wasted, but everything else is working out well. Between the natural shelf life of the hard squash, and the fact that we sorted, washed, and chopped pre-emptively, I think we'll get through without wasting too much.
All in all, I'm VERY sad our CSA is over. I've shopped at farmers' markets for years, but CSA's are so much easier, and to me, more enjoyable. Once you vet your CSA and know how they work before you buy a share, you absolutely know that everything you are getting each week is local, organic, and fresh picked. You get to see the people who grow and pick your food every single week for 5 months, or in states with longer growing seasons, sometimes as long as 9 months. Plus it's always fun to have veggies fresh enough to have clumps of dirt on them, or fruit that naturally ripened instead of being picked early to sit on a truck for a month and arrive at the store feeling like a rock and tasting like nothing. Plus, it's cheap. Our CSA was $500 for 5 months. That's $100 a month, $25 a week. We had a fruit and veggie share of local, organic, fresh produce, plus we had a flower share- we got a bouquet every week of native flowers. And then at the end, we were able to glean as much as we wanted. I saw some families carting away wagon loads of food. It's a healthy, environmentally friendly, and economical way to help local farmers and eat great food. I don't ever want to go without a CSA again, and I hope I don't have to!