Adventures in CSA: Chapter Two

So our first week trying to consume an entire share of produce from the Kretschman Farm CSA. That was quite a challenge. We were defeated, I must admit. I never made it to preparing the Swiss Chard.

We dried the herbs and dove into leafy green salads – green leaf lettuce, spinach and more. And they were incredible. We had grilled chicken and salmon. We made lasagna. And we ate that incredible bread. I suspect they gifted us with a complimentary loaf to convince us to purchase it in the future and it worked!

So the pro’s include great leafy green salads and herbs to use in the future. And the bread. The con’s were some challenges figuring out what was what. I accidentally thought thyme was a type of lettuce so we ate a bunch one night in a salad. I’m pretty sure the only side effect was excessive references to Simon & Garfunkel.

But I had anticipated the plausibility of excessive produce and so I purchased our first backyard composter – The Earth Machine. It was easy to install in the yard and now it is composting away with the chard, the leftover lettuce bits and all the other fun stuff I put in the bin. It has been interesting reading about what can and cannot be composted. Ledcat is game (she grew up with a compost pile in their backyard) but she drew the line at my “saving” used qtips and tissue to put in the bin. While I realize we shouldn’t spend money on organic produce to make compost, it does ease my mind a bit to know that we won’t truly waste things we can’t consume.

composting Pittsburgh
The Earth Machine composter in our backyard.

This week’s delivery included more salad greens/lettuces, chard, green onions, radishes and collard greens. It also featured a gorgeous pint of strawberries that taste incredible.  Those won’t last beyond tomorrow I’m sure. So what is our preparation plan?

Simon inspects the delivery.
Simon inspects the delivery.

It is complicated because it is PrideFest weekend so we won’t be home for meals very often. Obviously, we have the fixins for terrific salads (I like radishes, Ledcat does not) and I’m going to give the chard another go – I have a recipe I like with pasta, olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes all of which we have. And I have some ham in the freezer that I’m going to use with the collard greens. Ledcat is not a fan of cooked greens/spinach type things so she’s wary of the collards/chard plans but she can eat something else, right? Plus, I’ll make corn bread which she loves.

I’m also going to start making her sandwiches for her lunch so I can sneak lettuce onto them and try to use it up. Sshhhh don’t tell.

Another disappointment is that our chicken wasn’t in the June package. We chose this farm because it is organic and because we wanted chicken. They had a problem with the distributor so no chickens in June. This means a trip to the store to pick something up to have some protein. We were planning to roast the chicken and use the pieces we won’t eat for our elderly pets.

I’ve enjoyed reading about other people’s CSA deliveries on Facebook. Everyone is ending up with something different so it makes for fun reading, especially as they try to get their kids to eat chard. Ha. They should try feeding a Ledcat.

Other random fun facts

  • The cats love the crate. A new box every week that smells like God knows what. Cat heaven.
  • The strawberry container and the papers in the box are compostable.
  • We use the assorted plastic bags to collect pet waste (old pets = accidents) and reduce the need to use “new” trash bags.

Onward to week 3!