We finally got it!! Several anxious weeks after signing up for a share of the Windy Meadow Farms 2010 growing season, we went out to the farm and gathered our first weekly harvest.
We had been able to pick up our share since Wednesday, but the Boy and I went on Friday evening after work and rehearsal. As we pulled up, it looked pretty deserted, no people around, no doors open, no signs saying "enter here!" So I took a wild guess and opened the door to the metal framed garage.
I did the audible, 5-year old "WOOOW!!" It was just a little room portioned off from the rest of the building with canvas tarps. Yet....it was such a cool set up to display everything you were getting for the week. Three tables and a refrigerator formed a kind-of "CSA Buffet." The first table, right as you walk in, has the sign-in sheet so the farmers know you had been there to gather your things. Also displayed was the list of things you would be taking from the following two tables:
Romaine - 1 bunch
Carrots - 5-7
Onions - 5-6 medium
1 Bunch - Red or Green lettuce
1 pint Strawberries
Spinach - 1 Bunch.
Also - you can buy a dozen farm-fresh eggs, FOR A DOLLAR!! Not even Wegmans sells them that cheap (ok, they sell them for $1.09. But still, not farm-fresh!). The produce was set up in wooden bushels on the other two tables.
So the Boy and I gathered our tasty tasty loot (and me whining about how I neglected to bring a measly DOLLAR) and headed out of the garage/barn. We met another woman, her name was Dawn I believe...and she had the same reservations as we did upon first arriving: "Hi! This is my first time here! I wasn't sure it was open...do we just go right in?" Yep. We were the same way. Go right in and make sure you sign in and there's a sign to tell you what to gather.
As soon as I got home I set up everything and took a photo. Amazing:
I divvied everything up except for the romaine (which I did today) and brought the rest to my aunt. She told me the first thing she did was eat all the strawberries. I don't blame her.
(Saturday morning I was up early because I was dancing in a concert at 10:30 am. So, my breakfast was some sauteed spinach with egg and some strawberries to top it off. So simple, yet - it was a revelation. I CAN eat a good breakfast without feeling like a glutton and following my diet....if all the food is pre-prepared!)
I am realizing this experience will be a TON of work. Yet, I can't be more excited. It seems that this farm does not use pesticides. However, it does come right from a farm (aka" dirt) . I spent the bulk of my time preparing by separating and washing the lettuce and spinach leaves. I have them stored rolled between damp paper towels and placing them in a baggie in the crisper drawer. We have a full week of salad. Additionally, I cut up the celery that had been sitting in my fridge for a few days, chopped up the carrots, cut up the last head of broccoli from the last shopping trip, made a pinto bean dip for me for the veggies, prepared a pasta salad for a meal later this week, and rounded out the day by shopping for odds and ends for the meals. *phew* And I couldn't be more pleased.
But really, THIS is how things should be done. I am not a mother of 4 who works full time and has to put dinner on the table by 5. But my job is one where I am devoid of energy by 6 pm, and do not have the energy to prep, cook, eat, and clean up after a meal. One full day of prep and a good meal plan for the week is my new goal. Staying healthy and eating well is about the planning. Some people can think of great meals and whip them up on the fly. I have been thinking I was one of those people for the past....oh, 3 years or so. Man, I am sorry to say, that I am not. But it's okay that I am not. I just have to recognize that I need to plan ahead.
Later this week I hope to write about what we are doing for dinners this week and what we are using from our CSA share, and what we purchased. I am so excited for what else is to come and the creative meals I'm sure will be formed from the produce we get this summer (radishes? I can't say for certain that I have ever eaten them..). Unfortunately, this probably means that the summer will fly by. But, if it means tasty local food and habit forming planning, then bring it on.