In this week’s CSA news

p7161839csa.jpgHere’s this week’s CSA haul. More cucumbers, more zucchini, some yellow beans, red onions (this are the first ones of the season), smaller onions, bell peppers, hot peppers (another first of the season), small onions, an eggplant, and about a gazillion tomatoes.

I’m going to save the pickles until next week, when I hope to get enough new ones to make up another batch of pickles. (The recipe I’m using calls for a gallon of thin slices, which came out to about five decent-sized cukes last time.) For the other veggies, I’m going to turn to The Vegetarian Bistro, by Marlena Spieler, for inspiration. Many of the recipes call for eggplant, tomatoes, or zucchini—or even all three—so I’m bound to find something good in there.

p7161837extra.jpgAnd here are this week’s “bonus” items. The CSA boxes are kept in a small, air-conditioned trailer, and there are usually boxes or small refrigerators with extras available for purchase. Portabello mushrooms, for example, did not appear in this week’s share but could be bought for $1.50/bag. Local meat is also available at various prices.

This week, there was a box de-greened beets, with a sign encouraging people to help themselves to what they wanted. Another sign also told people to take one of the melons outside (there was a pile of them under a garden umbrella next to the trailer). I bought a dozen chicken eggs (laid yesterday morning) for $2.50.

I may have mentioned before that my CSA is at a nearby dairy farm that, for the past fifteen years or so, has operated an ice creamery. I recently learned from Tim, the farmer who runs the CSA, that only about two percent of the farm’s daily milk production goes to ice cream; the rest of the milk is sold to a regional distributor.

He sent an e-mail out to the CSA members last week announcing that they had just invested in pasteurization equipment and would be offering fresh pasteurized milk for sale once the licensing process was complete. Happy news indeed! We, however, are a raw milk-drinking family, so when I saw Tim yesterday (when picking up my box) I asked if he’d ever have raw milk available. He said, “I can’t sell it to you, but I can give it to you,” then went off to fill a half-gallon jug for me.

As it turns out, to get a license for pasteurized milk, the farm must first get a license for raw milk. Once all that is done (within the next week, Tim hopes), they’ll be able to sell both kinds of milk. He’ll have prefilled jugs of milk available for people to buy on CSA pickup days, but since I am (so far) the only person who’s inquired about raw milk, he won’t have those ready-made but will prep them to order. I’m pretty happy about this, because currently the only place I can get raw milk around here is at a natural-foods store about fifteen minutes away—it’s not too far from us, but the travel time (and gas!) really adds up when you’re going there about three times every two weeks. (Raw milk is fresh for only seven days, so buying in one trip more than we can drink in that time isn’t an option.)

2 Responses to “In this week’s CSA news”

  1. Ginaon 18 Jul 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Free milk sounds awesome to me! Have you tried the eggplant recipe yet? Let me know how it turns out if you ever try it.

    Also? I tagged you on my blog to do a little meme. So head over there if/when you have the time.

    Is this even how you tag people? I don’t even know. I’m so lame.

    Have a great weekend!


  2. Frankon 18 Jul 2008 at 7:19 pm

    We have a local dairy selling milk through the grocery stores. It’s not organic milk, but the cows are pasture fed. The taste is outstanding, and we return the glass bottles for a deposit, so there’s no plastic recycle or leach into the milk.