Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Eat your fruits and veggies! And join a CSA program!

Danielle with our first week's share from CSA. Modeling an Ambatalia kitchen furoshiki.
A few weeks ago my roommate Jen and I were shopping at the local Logan Square Farmers Market on a lazy Sunday. Montalbano Farms CSA sign caught our eye. We saw happy customers leaving with giant bags of fresh produce, so we decided we must learn more. 

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This is a program that has been in practice for over 25 years. Basically what happens is that a farmers offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. When you purchase a share you, in return you receive a box of seasonal produce throughout the farming season. CSA programs vary from farm to farm, but Montalbano Farms offers three options for their CSA program. You can either receive a vegetable and fruit share, a vegetable share, or a fruit share. And then you also get to decide if you want the box every week, or every other week.

This means that since we are signed up for the biweekly fruit and vegetable share, every other week we get to pick up a bounteous box of fresh produce with a wonderful mix of fruits and veggies. And a few days prior to pick up Montalbano Farms emails Jen and I a newsletter detailing what we can expect in the share that week, fun recipes to use the week's offerings, and updates on events at the farm. This week our menu looked like this:

Harvest season is upon us. Summer crops like tomatoes and peppers are finished while cool season plants are thriving.
  In the Vegetable share this week,
Chioggia beets
Bok choy

And in the fruit share:
Mix of Empire and Jonathan Apples from Earth First Farms
Let these persimmons get a little soft and enjoy them chilled. They make great sorbet and they dry well too!
What is so great about the CSA program is that all the vegetables, herbs, and fruits arrive within days of being harvested. This means that it is as fresh as can be! Also it allows you to make a connection with your farmers, since Jen and I go to pick up the box every other week the farmers become familiar faces. I also love the fact that the CSA program is a great way to support local farms, but also receive quality produce at a reasonable price. 

Jen and I are both eating healthier and happier! Definitely check out the CSA options in your area. A great resource to find more information for a program to fit your needs is at your local farmers market. 

And don't forget to eat your fruits and veggies! Til next week! -Bridget 

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