3.20.2009

A renaissance to call my own

I've rediscovered the love of fresh vegetables. Like the proverbial wholesome 'boy next door' that you've known your whole life but never gave much thought to and all of a sudden realize is perfect, vegetables have always had an unassuming presence and over the last few years I've realized that they're perfect.

I was a little lazy about food in my early twenties. I ate out whenever possible, and prepared many a frozen or boxed meal. I went to Farmer's Markets and shopped at The Wedge because it was fashionable, not because I thought the produce was better or because I was excited about cooking with whatever was in season, or because I was truly happy to buy local. Over the last few years a combination of circumstances and events have affected my attitude toward preparing meals.
  • Turning 30, which triggers the realization that your body actually does better when you take care of it;
  • A raised collective awareness of living 'green,' which includes buying local and organic;
  • Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, and his simple premise (Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.) resonated with me as I stared at my 'high-fiber' (read: highly processed) breakfast bars);
  • Discovering the joy of heirloom vegetables, including a mild and sweet heirloom tomato and the most amazing heirloom carrot soup at Farm.
  • Realizing that homemade vegetable stock is actually not difficult to make (the Moosewood recipe is my fave) and tastes better; and
  • I have a decent kitchen, finally.
You'd think I was born in the outer planets of the 'verse and had never had fresh vegetables before, but my parents kept a good-sized vegetable garden, and we ate the veggies year-round thanks to my mother's patience with canning them. And we always had a vegetable at our meals. If I took fresh vegetables as one of the necessary evils in life as a child, I view them as one of the true delights in life as an adult.

I think I first heard about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms a few years ago from my relatives in California. We've got a few friends who have received boxes of vegetables from their local CSA farm on a weekly basis and have loved it. The DH and I have talked about it for a few years, but this is the year that we're finally going to get on board. Especially since I found a farm that grows a number of heirloom varieties!

I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to cooking with vegetables that I don't normally cook with, and I'm looking forward to (possibly) preserving some of the extras to enjoy at a later date. I hope that this cooking kick I'm on is more than just a kick, and that we'll use this to the fullest.

6 comments:

Kat said...

Thanks, D! http://www.seward.coop/index.php?q=node/171

Amanda said...

Hey, I love this idea, too! Which CSA are you going to go with?

tragicoptimist said...

Awesome! I love doing the CSA thing - and I hope you guys have as much fun as we do with it! Which farm did you go with?

Brian said...

Amy and I are into this also! In fact we bought a stand alone freezer last year and plan to fill it this season. Hopefully next winter will taste like summer to us! :-)

You might want to check out the book called 'Preserving the Bounty' for those items in your CSA box that you don't have an immediate use for.

Kat said...

Excellent! I put the book on reserve at the library, Brian! Ann and Amanda, we're going to sign up with Harmony Valley Farm. In the end, they have the pickup time that works best for us. I'm so excited!!

tragicoptimist said...

Very cool! The pickup / location time was the deciding factor for us, too (we went with Easy Bean farms).