Raising Jane Journal

Friday, June 22, 2012

In the Box and On the Farm

This week began the summer share of my CSA. For me this mean double the produce. In this weeks share:
Bagged mixed lettuce
Red lettuce
Collard greens (Yum!)
Red Onions

I have to admit that each week, when I open my box, I get so excited. The anticipation of what I will be eating this week is part of the fun of the CSA. I notice each week that there is always a favorite to choose from. This weeks favorite..Collard greens! They are so versatile. They can go from steamed greens as a side, to a wrap of the main course. They can be added to just about any dish. I also have to admit that the strawberries were a nice treat. When I looked at the strawberries several desert ideas ran through my head, but I decided the best way to serve them was as themselves, with a little whipped cream on top that is. Perfection in a bowl.

On the farm this week it was more of the same. Lots of weeding. The carrot beds this week. Things took a slightly different twist because while we weeded along we also had to thin out the thickly planted carrots. I have to say that the day was far from boring though. This week I got a history lesson. You see, back in the day, this area was covered in farm land. But like so many other areas, the farmland is disappearing at a rapid pace, being bought out by developers who build subdivisions and strip malls. It seems that the originally farmers of this land and put in place some sort of stipulation that this land was to remain farmland and so the Liberty Prairie Foundation was formed. The land is farmed by approximately 8 different farms ranging from 1 acre to 20 acres. Of these, about 5 farms make their main living from the land. What I found the most interesting is that each of these farms will not remain here. The land is used strictly for those as a start-up location , to begin there journey in farming, with the hopes that in a few years, they will have made their name and will be able to move out on their own. There is also an learning farm on the land with hands on activities for little ones through high schoolers. It is actually a pretty amazing system covering all aspects of connection the farm to the consumer. Several local bee keepers will keep their hives on the land and most of the farms keep chickens. So along with the produce, I can pick up my eggs and honey here. As we finished up the day, we headed over to weed out the cauliflower & brussels sprouts. I never knew that as the cauliflower head starts to really get going that it needs to be shaded, and so we snapped the larger leaves over to make a sort of tent of protection as they continue to grow. While the day was fairly humid, it was an overcast day and we watched as a huge storm cloud make it's way in our direction. Unfotunately for this farm land, which was in need of a good rain, the storm headed slightly north. Until next week.

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