Posts tagged ‘vegetables’

February 19, 2013

Who Needs Peapod When Your Farm Delivers?

One of my great joys over the past 9 months has been to sit down on Sunday afternoons, and think about what I wanted to cook over the next week. As our regular routine was anything but regular, this simple step was one that helped ensure that there was something in the freezer to cook … and brought a big smile to my face in the process. But I did not order food from our local Harris Teeter or our local Giant. I had no need to do so. Instead, I went onto the South Mountain Creamery site to figure out what to order. We have a recurring milk and egg order, and now routinely order cheese, sandwich meat (awesome salami), and some meat from them.  Sometimes we’ll add something pickled, or if it is cider season, some apple cider. And we have not been disappointed. The milk still makes my kids sing with joy (especially if I splurge and get a chocolate milk half gallon…), and the meat and cheese are much more flavorful than what we used to get at the grocery store.

As I was thinking about renewing our CSA, a friend of mine posted on FB asking for advice about local CSAs. After I shared my thoughts about our CSA, I read the comments that a friend of hers posted, and learned that there is a farm delivery service called South Mountain Veggies that is modeled on a CSA but that allows you to make substitutions in your order. I know that many CSAs also have that option, but ours does not. So, I jumped on the website, and started to look around to see what was available. As I looked, I realized that I could still support local and organic producers, but have a little bit more control over what produce came in our bag. So, we decided to give it a try, and got our first bag Friday. We are working our way through it — but were thrilled at the freshness and flavor that has characterized everything so far.

The husband is pretty happy with this new approach to the CSA. His biggest complaint has been that we end up composting too much of what we get from the CSA (especially the Swiss chard) … and he is hopeful that this approach will fit better into the reality of our lives.

And best of all for me … I can get locally sourced flour for baking!!

So, no need for Peapod. I can order just about everything I need from these two sources, supporting my local farmers, and enhancing my sanity by reducing trips to the grocery store!

Readers — do any of you depend upon local farm delivery services in addition to your local farmers’ markets and/or CSAs?




August 4, 2012

Livin’ the Local-Loco Life

The past 6 weeks have brought more chaos to my life than I had anticipated for my summer.  I was expecting a regular old, somewhat busy but not-to0-busy, summer.  However, that is not how it has gone so far.  Personal (my mom’s health and my sister’s wedding planned and carried off within 2 weeks), work (a week-long trip), and climatic (the derech0) challenges have meant little time to blog about the shopping, cooking, and eating that our family has been engaged in. Survival has absolutely been the name of the game. Simple food preparation has kept us all sane and the bounty of summer produce has not let us down. The benefits of the milkman bringing milk, egg, butter, cheese, and meat to the front door once a week cannot be underestimated.  And, we have made it to the farmer’s market nearly every weekend…

So a few local highlights are captured below:

The CSA that greeted me when I got back from my trip.

And the CSA from this past week:

The multitude of cherry tomatoes from our garden, and the peppers and squash brought by friends to share with us.


Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of the peaches and melons and corn and bacon that we have been devouring from the market.  Needless to say, we haven’t gone hungry through the chaos. We have resorted to many simple go-to meals, such as,

  • Fresh tomato-basil sauce over pasta, accompanied with roasted eggplant, squash, pepper, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Homemade tomato sauce with delicious local beef served over linguine.
  • Tomato-cucumber-feta salad is a frequent accompaniment, and beet chips are new favorites for us!
  • A curry featuring red peppers, potatoes, and onions.
  • Sweet summer corn appears routinely on our table these days. 

Work has settled down, no imminent power-killing storms are on the horizon, my sister is married, and my mom is stable. I am hopeful that tomorrow will bring a day of rest and lots of food preparation to my house.  I have some tomato sauce, pesto, and zucchini bread to make.  And some pictures to take too. I am ready to return to the blog-o-sphere now that some semblance of order has returned to my household, and can’t wait to catch up on what everyone has been cooking!

Happy August all!



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June 10, 2012

Cherries and Golden Cauliflower

That’s what’s new for us at the market this week. We went a little overboard on purchasing last week – between two farmer’s markets, one CSA delivery, and the milk delivery, I’m having to readjust where I buy what (and when)!

On Saturday, at the Falls Church Market, we found sweet cherries, and golden cauliflower, and verdant green beans, and beautiful red potatoes to supplement our regular bacon and bread acquisitions.

And on Sunday, at the Westover Market, we added cucumbers, and tomatoes, and onions, and feta, and some hamburger to our larder.

The bacon, and most of the country white loaf have already been consumed. And the cherries didn’t make it past brunch on Sunday.  But we are planning to make a fritatta, and a cucumber-feta-tomato salad. The green beans will probably be roasted, and I am thinking that the golden cauliflower would task lovely in a curry. Maybe for Meatless Monday?! We will just have to see.

Here’s hoping you had a weekend filled with wonderful food!

June 3, 2011

Countdown to CSA Pickup No. 1

Some of our readers may remember that we asked for some feedback back in February as we considered whether to rejoin our CSA or not. Well, as you can probably tell by our header we decided to jump in again. We have purchased a regular summer share and mini fall share from Potomac Vegetable Farms. And now I’m getting excited. Our first pickup is June 7th….and although my family can’t quite figure out why I’m so excited, let me just say that I am!

The variety of produce in the markets has really started to increase  
and by the status of the early veggies we are growing,
I think we’ll have a plethora of greens in our first bag.
And it’s fun to know that our farm is getting ready too!
Anyone else excited about their first CSA pickup or delivery??
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June 2, 2011

Hello ChooseMyPlate, Good-Bye MyPyramid


What do I like about the new USDA plate?

First, fruits and veggies are half of this plate.  We like that.

Second, meat has been replace by protein. Makes a lot of sense to me.  We are already enjoying exploring the many different sources of protein in our diet.

Third, if you go to the USDA site, and click on each of the sections, you are taken to resources that give you many examples of what fits into each category.

And the 10 Tips Pages have lots of great ideas about how to incorporate these guidelines into your daily life.   I especially liked the one for encouraging kids to eat more fruits and veggies. Their number one idea, smoothies, is a favorite in our household.

What do I need to know more about?…How many of these plates are we supposed to eat a day? Is this a three-plate-a-day plan? Or a six-plate-a-day?!?! What about plate size?

Overall, though, my first look through the materials leave me with a smile, and some helpful tips that I will try to integrate into our eating.

I’d love to hear what others think.  Comment away!

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