Saturday, June 11, 2016

Eat Your Veggies!

We’ve always been good vegetable eaters at our house, my husband, kids, and I.
My son-in-law grills a mean asparagus, my daughter is raising three boys who love their sweet peppers, and my son and his fiance (wedding next week!) have embraced a semi-vegan lifestyle.

 And while I don’t remember warm vignettes from my childhood of my family holding hands around a bowl of succotash (although I do recall eating my share of lima beans and corn, both separately and united), my parents were early foodies. We ate beets and kale, and salads that had been tossed in a wooden bowl after Mama had rubbed it with a clove of garlic. I remember one evening when my father was all fired up after having produced a dish of celeriac. 

          My husband has definitely evolved. He came from a household where anything beyond corn, potatoes, turnip, or canned green beans was considered downright suspect. According to him, no one had ever eaten a mushroom until I showed up on the scene. Now he shovels down his kale and says “yum” afterwards. 

I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to it, but this year I signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share. 
These are programs in which consumers buy local produce directly from the people that grew it. The farmer will offer a certain number of shares, which result in a weekly distribution of whatever is harvested at that time. The consumer pays a lump sum for the growing season. This benefits everybody: the farmer receives money early in the season (literally seed money!) and the consumer gets sparkling fresh produce. 

 Intangibles are that the buyer gets to know his farmer, and the farmer meets the people she’s growing for.  And there’s more beyond that – I can feel that I’m helping small farming survive, and then there’s the taste! You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a carrot straight from the field. The ones trapped in those plastic bags in Salinas, CA and then driven three thousand miles to sit in my grocery store for a week are – quelle surprise! – sad imitations. 

So I picked up my first share this week:

One head of lettuce (I could pick from 3 kinds)

One head of kale (very different from the tough grocery store kind)

¼ pound of spinach

bunch of carrots



Not exactly a summer cornucopia, but to be fair, it’s early in the season here in Massachusetts and I did only sign up for a half share. 
Plus, I have no idea what vegetables each week will bring, kind of like an episode of “Chopped,” in which chefs are each given a basket of, say, oysters, cotton candy, and Jack Daniels, and then have to wow the judges after 30 minutes of frantic cooking.        

On Wednesday, when I spoke with the nice lady at the farm stand, there were rumors of kohlrabi. . . ! 


  1. Oh dear, I am embarrassed to say the husband and I are not vegetable people, not at all, though I wish we were. With our health issues we should be eating lots of vegetables and it's a struggle. Good for you.

  2. Several years ago I pledged myself to spend $20 a week at the local farmer's markets and stands. Now I sometimes spend fifty, and what a feast!

  3. I grew kohlrabi in my own garden last year and enjoyed it thoroughly, but it was a lot of work and the ones at the Farmers' Market are actually better! We are foodies, too. Good on you for getting a CSA share. I am growing four different kinds of kale in my garden, along with collards, and they are fabulous! We've already harvested three times and they just come right back up. Love em. :-)

  4. What a brilliant idea. If we had anything similar I would join in a heartbeat.
    I love vegies but my partner and two of my brothers believe they are the garnish you put on the plate to make the meat look better. And should be discarded...

  5. CSAs are fun. Surprises every week! I did one for many years in Minnesota. Ours even came with recipes, which was fun. I hope you enjoy your wonderful local veggies.

  6. I can't do without my veggies and greens now. I did have a strict diet when growing up on account of a tummy-related condition. That meant that I got used to vegetables from a very early age. Still, meat and veg? Yes! :-)

    Greetings from London.

  7. Community Supported Agriculture! What a fabulous idea. I guess weekly Farmer's Markets such as we have here are the next best thing. I've tasted carrots fresh from the ground and have to agree with you on taste. Peas and beans picked and eaten right there in the garden, apples and peaches straight from the tree; there's nothing better.
    But you can keep your kale and asparagus.

  8. I've always been a big veggie eater and I've converted my husband. We start our main meal with a good mixed salad. Then I have a rotating group of veggies to go with the meal. We have garden and we eat whatever is ripe. Right now it's tomatoes, green peppers and potatoes.

  9. This is sort of like the co-ops of the 70s and 80s. Every body pitched in a certain amount a month and you would take turns doing the shop on the wholesale side of the market but what you got for your money depended on who was buying and what was available that month. It made for interesting meals sometimes.


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