Check out these gorgeous veggies!

Our first CSA pick-up was yesterday and as promised I'm "sharing my share" with you! Curious what eating local and in-season looks like in Western Mass? Subscribe here to follow my CSA each week of the growing season. You'll also find recipes, links, and fun veggie-centric info.

Here's a quick refresher on what CSAs are all about:

What's CSA stand for?
Community Supported Agriculture
What's it mean?
You buy a share in a farm and receive a portion of the harvest each week.
What's the benefit?
So many! You'll be eating the freshest veggies you can buy. You'll get exposed to a diversity of veggies you might not otherwise choose to buy. You'll be supporting your neighbors, your community, and the environment. You'll save money over the cost of the same veggies bought at a store. You'll be eating delicious, healthy food all season!
What farm do we belong to?
Red Fire in Granby (they're great, all organic, with lots of pick up locations in the Valley and Boston)

Here's what we received in our regular size share for week one:

Napa cabbage
Use it just like green or red cabbage in stir fries, cole slaw, salads, or if you feel adventurous try your hand at kimchi!
Purple kohlrabi
I'm guessing of all the veggies here kohlrabi might be the least familiar so I'll talk a little more about it below.
Salanova lettuce
A lovely variety with tiny leaves that tastes much like green or red lettuce.
Green curly kale
Perfect for a massaged kale salad or tossed into a stir fry.
Green garlic

This is garlic before it grows into a whole head. Chop it like scallions and use anywhere you'd use garlic.
Popeye's favorite but nothing like that horrible mushy canned stuff he ate! Use in salads, stir fries or smoothies. 
Fresh herbs are such a great way to bring bright flavor to your meals! Dill is especially good with fish or chicken and terrific stirred into yogurt or sour cream for a quick dressing or tzatziki sauce.

We also get an egg share from happy chickens who get to roam outside in the grass and eat bugs, yum! And every member has the option to pick extra crops each week. This week's PYO (pick your own) was snow, snap and shell peas, strawberries, and herbs. I didn't leave myself enough time to pick everything so I opted for just the strawberries because their season seems to be a little bit shorter than the peas and because I didn't need any herbs this week. I also happen to have rhubarb growing in my yard and what's better with rhubarb than strawberries?

So, how does this add up price-wise? Well, this is probably the smallest share we'll receive all season, which is very common for the early season shares. But even at this size if you were to buy all these organic veggies at a grocery store or market you'd be spending in the neighborhood of $30. At $625 for 20 weeks that's almost exactly what we pay. 

But wait! The shares just keep getting bigger every week and by late August and September we're taking home double and triple what you see here not including all the PYO options. This share more than pays for itself, but as far as we're concerned buying local, knowing our farmers, and feeling connected to our community is how we experience the real benefit of belonging to a CSA!

Purple kohlrabi

What is this crazy looking thing?
 It’s a member of the cabbage family and has a flavor similar to broccoli stems but much sweeter and a texture close to an apple when young or a turnip when older. Kohlrabi comes in both the purple and green varieties at our farm, usually with the leaves still attached.

How to prep: remove the leaves and peel the bulb.

What to do with the leaves: if small and tender, use them in a salad. If bigger or tougher, use as you would kale. You can eat the stems but check for toughness, sometimes they are super fibrous. If they’re nice and crisp, just chop small and toss into a salad or stir fry.

What to do with the bulb: eat it raw or cooked. A friend from the Midwest was appalled when I mentioned roasting my kohlrabi (SO good and nutty!) because he had grown up with it sliced thin and eaten cold from the fridge with salt and pepper on hot summer days. It is good like that, and its tasty in salads shredded, cubed or sliced thin. It’s also great roasted with salt, pepper and olive oil or steamed and made into a lovely pureed soup. Kohlrabi has a fairly neutral flavor so you can toss it into just about anything you’re making. Try adding it to your next batch of mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes. Enjoy!