Week #2 Community Supported Agriculture: featuring strawberries - Our Daily Green

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week #2 Community Supported Agriculture: featuring strawberries

Even though we're only on our second week of our Community Supported Agriculture, we've already learned a few things. Over the years, we've forgotten what it's like to eat seasonally. The artificial ripening and shipping of crops from around the globe has dulled our taste buds to the flavors of what is locally ripe and available. We forget how awful the firm but lacking-in-flavor red berries that masquerade as strawberries are any other time of the year but June (in Ohio).

But last week, in addition to our share, we also went strawberry picking at a local farm. Sixteen quarts of strawberries later, we were on our way to strawberry jam, strawberry ice cream, strawberry smoothies, strawberry salad, strawberry shortcake, etc. We felt like the Bubba Gump Shrimp of strawberries.

Bubba: Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.

weighing the strawberries for the jam

Six of the sixteen quarts

Between picking strawberries and our weekly share, we were able to share our strawberries with friends and strangers. We gave a handful to the kids at the library where we picked up our share then gave one to some young college interns at a networking event. We also shared some of the strawberries with our neighbors. We think we won over some folks to the benefits of in-season fruit. Or more accurately the strawberries won them over!

While they are still in season, we'll also share one of our favorite hints on keeping the berries from molding (provided you actually don't eat them all in one sitting). This works on any berry, including raspberries and blackberries. Gently wash the berries in a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 10 parts water. The vinegar kills the mold spores in the berries and they will stay fresh longer. 

This week's share included: 

  • Strawberries
  • Napa Cabbage: we are going to make what else? A Napa cabbage and strawberry salad 
  • Red Leaf Lettuce: wilted lettuce
  • Chicory: Greens with a caveat. Chicory is quite bitter. It must be boiled and squeezed out before you eat it unless you enjoy extremely bitter food. Save the water you boil it in for houseplants. 
  • Kale: Colcannon
  • Snow Peas: eat raw as a snack and add to stir-fry. 

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