ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends


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This Week in Veg: We don’t eat all of these vegetables

20140709-094250-34970703.jpg When talking with my non-– CSA friends about joining a CSA, one of the first concerns that comes up is, “how do you eat all of those vegetables?”

My answer? We don’t.

Sure, we do eat a good portion of these vegetables, or else we wouldn’t have joined the CSA. But, honestly, there’s a lot of things that still will turn bad in the bottom of our refrigerator. Arugula and red lettuce are common culprits. We don’t sweat it, we have a compost pile. The food isn’t “going to waste”, we’re making fertilizer for next year’s garden.

But only about 5% of our CSA box will go bad. That’s because I often anticipate foods that we might not eat, and I’ll either find a special recipe to use with that vegetable, like I did with the pesto and arugula. Alternatively, some of the foods we put away to eat in the winter. This week, we received a large head of broccoli. Broccoli is really easy to blanch and freeze, and we eat it all throughout the winter in different dishes like stirfry and garbage rice. I know that the value of that broccoli will be greater to me in November or March then it will be this week. So, into the freezer it goes.

Last, I know there’s some vegetables that we just don’t eat in our house. Eggplant is probably the best example. What I will do is leave the eggplant at the CSA pickup point. There’s often someone else there picking up their vegetables who might enjoy an eggplant which would otherwise just rot in my refrigerator. I also occasionally give away CSA vegetables to my friends and neighbors when we are really overwhelmed with too many vegetables.

So, when you look at these pictures and you think “how do you eat all of that?” We don’t. We have figured out how to cheat the CSA system so that we don’t have to eat all of those vegetables. But importantly we don’t let the vegetables go to waste.


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This Week in Veg: A Cucumber is a fruit…

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We got two new and exciting things in the CSA this week: Cucumbers and Russian red kale.

The Cucumbers are the bearer of good news – Summer is almost here. They’re the first “vegetable” that we get each season that really needs some sun to grow. The turnips, asparagus, radishes, and bok choi that we’ve got over the last few weeks are cool-weather crops.

The red Russian kale is a fad, I think. Is there some local restaurant that’s doing something fancy with this type of kale? What ever am I going to do with an entire bag?


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This week in Veg: the last delivery of the Summer CSA.

This is the last week of vegetables from Cedar Circle. In the fall, Cedar Circle transitions to a pick up CSA model, where we would have to drive up to their farm every other week to pick up our vegetables. We decided the extra driving lessons so worth it, so we signed up with a different CSA for the fall/winter share.

I’m surprised to see we continue to get corn from the farm. There’s also a tiny little head of butter crisp lettuce, which I love to make into Thai style lettuce wraps.

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This week in veg: the vegetables have arrived!

As you may have noticed, this week in veg has been on a hiatus for the past two weeks. This is because Sam and I were in Wisconsin and we got to give away our CSA to some fortunate friends of ours. We are back this week, and while we were gone the vegetables seem to have arrived in Vermont! Looking back over previous weeks, we had lots of greens and one or two small and large groups. But this week we finally see real vegetables: peas, cabbage, beets the size of Apple. All those wonderful things that show up this time of the year and require a little more sun and a little more water to get the right size. I’m hungry!

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1. Lettuce
2. Cabbage
3. New potatoes
4 shelling peas
5 cilantro
6 another head of lettuce
7 carrots
8 beets


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This Week in Veg: organic, locally-grown iceberg lettuce

20130614-185050.jpg1. Napa cabbage 2. Red leaf lettuce 3. Swiss chard 4. Iceberg lettuce 5. Green garlic 6. Escarole

I have never before seen locally grown, organic iceberg lettuce. It looks a little bit less freakish than the stuff you find wrapped in plastic at the grocery store, but only a little bit less freakish. I’m curious what these heads of lettuce would retail for at the farmers market or at the co-op. Just because it’s funny, we may have a composed salad where we serve wedges of iceberg lettuce. Has your CSA ever delivered iceberg lettuce?

The other treats this week was green garlic. This is a young garlic plants that have not had time to form a head of garlic and mature. The white bulbs and some of the green stems are edible, and the flavor tastes like garlic but not as strong. Sam is using some of the cream garlic in tonight’s dinner; pasta with garlic and olive oil and cheese.