Gettin' fresh … in Northern Nevada

Posts tagged “#csa

Great Basin Basket Share, Week Five

What’s in the box?

Green Garlic – Lattin Farms
Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Broccoli – Pioneer Farms
Green Cabbage or Napa Cabbage – Pioneer Farms
Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics
Gourmet Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Jericho Romaine – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Assorted Herbs – Lattin Farms

I have my add on items … bread, teriyaki beef jerky and a salted caramel-pretzel crust brownie.   OH!  And, eggs from Lahontan Farms that are somehow not in the photo.   This is a new thing on the basket share for me.  The weekly add-on items change and you order them in advance.   Fun, local, yummy stuff!

This week includes the beef share.   It was a full cooler load from York’s Meats in Fallon.

The packages range in portion size but included top sirloin (x2), rib steaks, chuck steak, carne asada (x2), ground beef (x5), and chuck roast.

We are pretty excited to try some Nevada beef — especially after a few weeks of heavy greens.

 

 


Great Basin Basket Share, Week Three

What’s in the box this week?   All sorts of goodies!

Jericho Romaine Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Green Garlic – Lattin Farms
French Tarragon  – The Green Man
French Breakfast Radishes – Pioneer Farms
Kohlrabi – Pioneer Farms
Gourmet Lettuce Mix – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics
Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Stone Ground Wheat Bread by The Bread Lady and fresh eggs from Lahontan Farms

Talk about a fun week of tasty things you don’t see everyday!   I love that there were more sunflower shoots — I can just eat them straight out of the box.   BUT, I was really looking forward to the kohlrabi this week.   Mmmmmm.   This is a truly unique thing.   I remember having it a few years ago during the last CSA round but I don’t see it at the store very often.  (And, who knows how far it traveled to get there??)

Aren’t the little French breakfast radishes pretty??

Now, on to this kohlrabi matter … last time, I just ate the root, sort of as shown below.  Trim it up and it’s like a radish-apple-green flavor.   You can cook them if you want but I literally just ate it straight up like nothing.   Yum-O-fresh-O.

I did notice that there were a TON of greens on the top and discovered (after quick Google) that you can eat those too.   Sooooo, I saved them for recipe experiment later.

Extra! Extra!   How about a better look at this luscious bread we have been getting every week?   It is wonderful.   Stone ground wheat by The Bread Lady.

And, in case I have not said it enough … these sunflower shoots are the bomb-diggity.


The Purple Green Smoothie

In an effort to try something different, and use up a bag of kale, we made smoothies.

Full disclosure, I’m not the biggest fan of green smoothies so … that’s the starting point for this adventure.

I used this recipe as it was suggested in the veggie box weekly email. http://www.homesteadmania.com/kale-blueberry-vanilla-smoothie/

I made enough for two large smoothies so it seemed like a lot of greens. I also tried to pull out any thicker stalks just to avoid any bitter flavors.

I also added banana for a thicker mix.

Fresh blueberries are not in season yet so I used frozen ones. Partially for cost and partially because I knew they would be nice for a cold drink. They quickly blended up and almost disguised the kale. Almost.

There’s no fooling a 9 year old boy. Plus, while it wasn’t terrible, it is no substitute for a real milkshake.

He tolerated it but I doubt he will be making any special requests to try that again.

All in all, it wasn’t that bad. Cold, refreshing, fairly guilt free. I can handle that. Next time, I might up the banana factor or add other fruits.

I definitely got my kale intake for the day so that’s good!


Great Basin Basket Farm Share, Week Two

Last week was a busy flurry for the first round of the veggie box. Gotta love spring greens! I didn’t post a photo of the grilled asparagus but, wowza, those were tasty mmm mmm good!

Sooooo … what’s in the box this week?

A lot of the same, as expected, but with some bonus goodies!
Salanova Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms

Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms

Green Garlic – Lattin Farms

Garlic Chives – Mewaldt Organics

Siberian Kale – Pioneer Farms

Spinach – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms

Arugula – Pioneer Farms

Gourmet Lettuce Mix – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms

Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics

Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Bread Lady stone ground wheat

Lahontan Farms eggs

I am super ready for those sunflower shoots! Yum! They are first on my list for tomorrow.

Check out these pretty eggs, though.

They are all different, natural colors and stamped with love. Someone is all crafty with their die cut freshness date rooster!

My son loved these eggs last week. He’s not normally a full plate of scrambled eggs kind of kid but he cleaned up on them last weekend. That makes me happy!

The taste of fresh food is so much better than anything else. So far, my family is loving the veggie box.

What’s your favorite fresh food that just isn’t the same any other way?


Wash Your Veggies

So, this seems obvious, but it is important to rinse and wash all of the produce that you are going to eat. No matter where it came from when you bought it.

When you have a CSA subscription, the first accessory you should get is a salad spinner.

What’s that? It is this:

This one handy, dandy (usually reasonably priced) item will save you so much time and energy. It will also help you keep those greens fresh longer!

How does it work? I had some fun with a slo-mo video from my phone to show you.

It is basically a colander that spins in a bigger container to fling the extra water off your lettuce after you rinse it thoroughly in the sink.

My son also thinks it’s great silliness to help with this job so don’t be afraid to recruit helpers!

I usually wrap greens in a paper towel and don’t fully close them up in plastic when I put them in the fridge to make them last a day or two more. This is important in the first few weeks of a CSA when there are a lot of greens. You don’t want then to go to waste in the first two days!

Especially when they are this pretty:

Have fun and eat your greens!


Great Basin Basket Farm Share, Week One

Woo hoo! It’s here! It’s here!

Can you tell how excited I am about this?

It has been a while but I have really been looking forward to getting some Nevada veggies in my system.

Here’s the box:

The way it works is that you go to a pick up spot and there’s actually a cardboard box … but … it helps a lot to bring your own crate so they can reuse the cardboard one.

What’s in the box?

This will vary every week based on what’s in season so, since it is spring, lots of greens this week.

Items:

Salanova Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms

Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms

Green Garlic – Lattin Farms

Spring Asparagus – Lattin Farms

Garlic Chives – Mewaldt Organics

Siberian Kale – Pioneer Farms

Spinach – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms

Arugula – Pioneer Farms

Tango Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms

I also opted to get bread (stone ground whole wheat from The Bread Lady) and eggs (from the happy chickens at Lahontan Farms.)

Nom!

I’ll share more with some recipes and lots of photos later so stay tuned. Let me know of you have any questions. I’m all ears!


Great Basin Basket CSA, Autumn Week 6 (11/07/13)

 

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This is it, the last basket of 2013.   I’m happy to report that it was full of all kinds of goodies, too!

2013 wasn’t kind to the farmers and I’m not sure what the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting for 2014 but I am certain that water is going to be an issue for the Fallon farmers no matter what.    I love being a part of the Great Basin Basket CSA.   However, once again, I am faced with the dilemma about what to do for next year.   We’ll see …

(All organic from Lattin Farms, unless otherwise noted)

  • Stripetti Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sunflowers
  • Decorative Indian Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Thyme
  • Decorative Gourds
  • Onions from Peri & Sons
  • Jerusalem Artichokes from Mewaldt Organics
  • Potatoes from Workman Farms
  • Mixed Asian Greens from High Desert Farming Initiative (part of the University of Nevada, Reno)

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So, veggie friends … it might be a while until the next post.   I’m considering just posting an occasional recipe or two but I’m might also just reevaluate my blogging time.

What do you think?

Maybe, just a winter’s break to clear the mind … maybe not.


Stuffed Baked Acorn Squash

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This recipe was in the weekly instructions/newsletter for my CSA box.   It is originally credited to Black Sheep Farm in Ontario, Canada, Fresh Food Nation by Martha Holmberg.

Stuffed Baked Acorn Squash

  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup couscous or cooked rice
  • 1 tart apple (peeled, cored and finely diced)
  • (my addition) 1 small white onion (finely diced)
  • 1 lb cooked pork, duck, sausage, bacon or pancetta (I used Italian sausage)
  • hot sauce (to taste)
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • (my addition) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oven to 375.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds from the cavity by scraping them out with a spoon.  Cut a small slice off the curved side of each half, so it can sit flat without wobbling.

Use a fork or sharp paring knife, poke holes in the flesh of the cut faces and cavities of the squash halves, and the brush with olive oil.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

Cook couscous or use pre-cooked rice.   Saute onions and apples in a small amount of oil until caramelized.   Mix everything with chopped meat and a few drops of hot sauce.   Taste for seasoning.

Fill each squash half with stuffing, tamping down as need to fill completely.   Drizzle with maple syrup.   Bake until squash is completely tender, about 45 minutes.   Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and broil for a nice browned topping.

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This was savory with a little bit of sweet spicy.   The squishy squash texture was balanced with the rice stuffing mixture.    Good stuff.    It was a little bit of a hassle for a work night meal but everyone at my house has a happy tummy so it was worth it.    Yum!


Great Basin Basket CSA, Autumn Week 1 (10/03/13)

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Just a quickie update this week, lots of stuff happening on the homefront. No worries, happy stuff!

This week’s box included a Cherokee purple tomato, a big bag of peppers, eggplant, lettuce, kale, garlic, parsley, mustard greens, spaghetti squash and onions.


Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 12 (09/26/13)

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This week marks the end of the summer share for the CSA.   And, it was a very different year that last summer.   I think that water is a pretty serious issue for my farmers and, well, you can tell.  I hope that it changes soon for them, for lots of reasons.

The fall CSA starts next week and is $162 for six weeks.   I do have to admit that the share size seems a little smaller this year for that price.   But, I don’t mind paying for the quality produce that comes in these boxes.   I love my Fallon farms!

Here’s what was in the box this week:

  • Early Girl Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Globe Eggplant
  • Mixed Bag of Jalapeno and Romanian Peppers
  • Bag of Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Shallots
  • Corn
  • Melon
  • Thyme
  • Onions

Isn’t this thyme wonderful?   I can’t wait to add it to a roast or stew.

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And, I love peppers!   Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmm!

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Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 11 (09/19/13)

I started to name this post “I Love Ugly Tomatoes” and then went back to the format that I have been using this year.   But, the whole post should really  be about just those organic heirloom tomatoes, shouldn’t it?   No?  OK.   Here’s what I got in the box this week:

  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Canary Melon
  • Romanian Peppers
  • Globe Eggplant
  • Juliet Cherry Tomatoes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic
  • Garlic Chives
  • Raspberries (that I am promising myself to not just let the Goblin eat)
  • oh, ya … some awesome heirloom tomatoes!

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I love how they are just ugly.   Makes you wonder what other stuff that looks all weird but would actually be good, doesn’t it?   Makes me think that I was wrong for always picking the “pretty” produce.   Who taught us to do that??

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Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 10 (09/12/13)

 

 

 

 

Hello out there in the Blogosphere!   For those of you keeping track, no … I did not forget about blogging last week or purposely miss Week 9.   I was on a nicely planned camping vacation.   If you would like to see some of those photos, check out my other blog at Gingerlea Photography.

I gave last week’s box to a friend, who may or may not guest post about her CSA experience sometime in the future.   I heard a rumor that she is big on juicing and actually made a fancy soup with her Vitamix machine.   We’ll see …

For this week, here’s what was in the box:

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A Sarah’s Choice Melon, Seedless Watermelon, Globe Eggplant, Romanian Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicing Tomatoes, Shallots, Green Beans, Basil and Raspberries.

I know I have gone on and on about the raspberries in the past but they are soooooo good.   As in, I’m thinking about making the two hour round trip drive out there to pick some more.   That good.

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And, if you were wondering why it’s worth it to get more raspberries, this is what happens to the ones in the CSA box when they get to my house:

The Raspberry Goblin inhales them.   Photo evidence.

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Oh, well.   There’s worse things for a kid to get excited about, right??

As for the rest of the haul, I’m thinking there is a basil, tomato, pepper salad in my future with some feta cheese and a vinaigrette.   I love fresh ingredients.   Yum.

On the other hand, I have a serious amount of garlic just sitting on my counter.   I’m feeling a big roasting session coming on this weekend.   It’s easy and the garlic keeps well.   Bonus features:   no vampires at my house and easy spreadable garlic on demand for every piece of french bread that I can find.

Do you like roasted garlic?   Any new ideas for how to use it?   I love garlic in everything.   Share something creative with me!


Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 7 (08/22/13)

 

 

It’s another great week of veggies in Nevada.   I am so happy to be back in the CSA.   I get super excited for Thursdays because I know there will be a new veggie box.   Nom nom nom!

What’s this week’s haul?   All organic–I know I say that every week but it’s really that important.   Those peeps out at Lattin Farms work hard to keep their freshies fresh, the old-school way!

  • Sarah’s Choice Cantaloupe
  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Mixed Summer Squash
  • Islander Peppers
  • Slicing Cucumber
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Japanese Eggplant
  • Early Girl Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Basil from Mewaldt Organics
  • Green Beans from River Bend Farms
  • White Onions from Pioneer Farms

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Here’s a close up of the basil — can you smell it?   I was trying to inhale the bag on the way home in the car.   I love fresh basil.

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Ya know what goes well with basil?    Tomatoes!  I see a caprese salad in my future …

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Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 6 (08/15/13)

 

 

What’s in this week’s Veggie Box?    Take a look:

(all organic)  yellow canary melon, Sarah’s choice melon, seedless watermelon, mixed summer squash, islander peppers, slicing cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, globe eggplant, bobcat tomatoes, corn, parsley from Mewaldt Organics and green beans from River Bend Farms

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I’ll go ahead and apologize for the crappy, blurry photos.   I must have been excited about veggies and didn’t take the time to do a better job.   Oh, well.   Better luck next week.

 

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What am I going to cook with all of these fine goodies?    Well, we are going camping this weekend so the squash, eggplant and corn are going straight on the grill.   I plan to eat most of the watermelon straight off the rind while sitting on the beach and, yup, if I do find a seed … I’m just gonna spit it right out on the ground, hillbilly-style.    This box is pure summer and I’m going to enjoy it as such.

I haven’t posted any recipes or cooking adventures lately because we haven’t really done anything exciting with the fruits and veggies other than just eat them.   Raw.   Au naturale.    I love a good salad or to just throw some veggies on the BBQ with a steak.   You can only post so many pictures of that on a blog.    Uh … I guess there was a little bit of bacon involved in a green bean cooking incident.   I could have posted that.   You can never see enough bacon, right?

What are you making cooking plans for right now?


Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 5 (08/08/13)

 

 

This week’s box was so heavy that I could barely carry it out to the car.   Seriously, I’m glad that I’m not paying for produce by the pound here!

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What was in the box?   All organic Galia melons, cantaloupe, seedless watermelon, mixed summer squash (crook neck, yellow/green zucchini), islander peppers, cherry tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, cucumbers, early girl tomatoes and basil from Lattin Farms, basil from Mewaldt Organics, green beans from River Bend Farms and red onions from Pioneer Farms.

Just look at these goodies:

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Everything smells so good.   The basil is sweet and tangy, the onions are sharp and the fruit is like candy.   I think I might just eat all of it raw.   No cooking required.

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Or, maybe you could help … with some fresh ideas … what would you make with these ingredients?


The Veggie Box is Back!

I have returned from the desert wasteland of fresh options in Northern Nevada to report that I should have just stayed with my tried and true CSA box from last year.   The co-op in town is good but not convenient for me.   The other basket/subscriptions are OK but not always local.   And, the farmer’s markets are less than I had hoped for in my area.

The Great Basin Basket CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription by Lattin Farms is the way to go.   For real.   Boom.   Don’t mess around with anything else.   Know that your farmer is in Fallon and your food is fresh.   Done.

You can expect to see weekly reports from me about what’s in the box through the fall and I will gladly pay whatever the subscription costs because it has always proven to be completely worth it.   I managed to get in on the summer subscription after it had already started and the membership coordinator happily pro-rated my weeks through September.   This costs $29 a week.   Paid in full, in advance with eager anticipation.

Here’s what I received today:

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All organic summer squash, seedless watermelon, sweet peppers, eggplant, early girl tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, garlic and a Galia melon from Lattin Farms.  There is also a bag of green beans from River Bend Farms and two big red torpedo onions from Pioneer Farms.

Aren’t these onions glorious?

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What’s a Galia melon?   According to the handy dandy instruction sheet that comes in every veggie box, a Galia melon looks “like a cantaloupe on the outside and a honeydew melon on the inside and offer a delicious, sweet flavor.”   All I know is that it smells like heaven.   This should be really good this weekend when it’s hot outside and I’m craving something cool and sweet.

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I can’t wait to taste those little yellow cherry tomatoes.   nom nom nom

 

Can you believe that I’m even excited to see the eggplant?  Now, if I could only remember which blog posted an eggplant recipe recently that actually looked good.    Any suggestions on that one?

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For my pepper peeps, these are Antohi Romanian Sweet Peppers and the veggie instructions included an interesting story about them:

“Jan Antohi was a touring acrobat when he defected to the United States.  In late 1991, he visited his family in Romania for the first time in more than 8 years, and came back with seeds of this delicious heirloom.   Romanians fry these in a hot skillet to experience the sweet, full flavor.”   

I remember these peppers from last summer and can attest … THEY ARE TASTY!

I’m excited to try some new recipes and share them with you again.   Tonight’s menu is easy:  grilled chicken and grilled summer squash.   Put ’em on the BBQ and get ‘er done!  Yum.


Bountiful Baskets Washoe Valley

I think I may have found a new veggie basket for this year.   Since moving to our new house, I have debated whether or not to do the CSA this year and just wanted to try something different.   Tada!   The solution fell right into my lap the other day when I discovered that there is a food co-op that does a fruit and veggie basket right in my neighborhood.   Wow!  How convenient?!

What’s this new discovery?   Well, silly me, I had heard of a program called “Bountiful Baskets” a long time ago but I don’t think there was a local spot for me at the time and … then … I forgot about it.   That simple.   It is a national organization of volunteers so check their website and see if it’s convenient for you, too.   www.bountifulbaskets.org

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Their own description of how it all works looks like this:

“We hope you enjoyed your experience with Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op (BBFC). BBFC distributes produce baskets, organic produce baskets, artisan bread and sandwich bread every other week.

BBFC is a group of people who work together for mutual benefit. This is a grassroots, all volunteer, no contracts, no catch co-operative. Since there are no employees at Bountiful Baskets, we as a group pay rock bottom prices on your food. This also means the co-op would not happen without volunteers. If you are interested in the co-op continuing, please volunteer occasionally. All it takes is a little time, energy and a smile. Volunteer opportunities include helping prepare the baskets, breaking down boxes, assisting with the distribution, and packing up. To help out, simply arrive an hour early dressed and ready to work with water to drink.

See you at Co-op!
Sally & Tanya and The Whole Bountiful Baskets Team

The deal is that you go to their website every other week to opt-in and then volunteer every so often to help out with the distribution.   OK.   I can handle that.

This week’s offering included extra add-ons like two different bread packages, coconut oil (1/2 gallon expeller pressed in a glass jar for $18.50), granola, a guacamole kit, 8 lb flat of strawberries, 4 lbs rhubarb or a 40 lb bag of valencia oranges.   I opted to try the bread, coconut oil and rhubarb.

Keep your fingers crossed, Fresh Veggers.   I hope this is as cool as I think it’s going to be!   I’ll post an update this weekend.  Pickup is on Saturday!

Has anyone else out there tried Bountiful Baskets?   Leave a comment, please.  I would love to hear about your experience.

P.S.  I’m waiting to see how this first week goes before I figure out the volunteering portion of the deal.


2013 CSA Prices

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I’m super excited for CSA season to start back up here in Northern Nevada.   The prices and season options for my CSA, Great Basin Basket CSA, are now available and I thought I would put them out to the blogosphere for some feedback.  The dollar amount of the box is about the same as last year but the seasons have been shortened by several weeks in the beginning and at the end.   Also, the prices do not include a fruit subscription.   The fruit subscription will be separate and has not been priced as of yet.

What do you think?   If you are a subscriber somewhere else, how do these prices compare to yours?

Here’s the details:

BASKET OPTIONS
Spring 8/4 weeks (May 7-June 27)  Weekly- $216  Bi-weekly- $120
Summer 12/6 weeks (July 9-Sept 26)  Weekly- $348  Bi-weekly- $192
Autumn 6/3 weeks (Oct 1-Nov 7)  Weekly- $162  Bi-weekly- $90
All three seasons! 26 weeks  Weekly- $726  Bi-weekly- $402
Basket shares feed 3-4. Bi-weekly shares are delivered as follows: Last name begins with A-K: delivery begins on
first & odd weeks. Last name begins with L-Z: delivery begins on second and even weeks. No exceptions, please.
Bi-weekly memberships will be notified of your delivery dates.

Weekly subscription prices: Spring-$27 per week; Summer-$29 per week; Autumn-$27 per week. Bi-weekly subscriptions have an additional $3 per week surcharge.
PAYMENT OPTIONS
 Payment plan option: Send $50 deposit to reserve your seasons, and the balance for each season will be due
one week before the season begins.* Final payment for Spring is due April 30; Summer is due July 2; Autumn is
due Sept. 24. The deposit is applied to your subscription.

EARLY PAYMENT BONUSES FOR 2013 SEASON
 Subscribe and pay for Three seasons of Weekly share ($726) by March 31, and receive $50 in GBC Market Dollars*.
 Subscribe and pay for Two seasons of Weekly share by March 31, and receive $20 in GBC Market Dollars*.
 Subscribe and pay for Three seasons of Bi-weekly share by March 31 ($402), and receive $20 in GBC Market Dollars.
*GBC Market Dollars: These bonus dollars can be used to purchase produce and value-added products from selected Great Basin Basket farmers at local farmers markets and farm stands.

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To be fair, I loved my CSA subscription last year and have nothing but wonderful things to say about it.   But, I do have to admit the price is a little spendy and I’m not sure if I want to do it again this year.    Give me some feedback!   I’m waffling on the veggies here!


2012 CSA Year in Review

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It has been a couple of weeks since the CSA box subscription stopped and I don’t know why it has been hard to me to get this blog post done.    Maybe, this means it’s over and I don’t know what to do with blogging or, more accurately, I’m ready for a little break in the blog.    It doesn’t hurt that the holidays are here and I’m a little busy with other things so I have decent excuses for not being as actively posting.   At any rate, here’s the breakdown for my first year of community supported agriculture …

The first thing everyone has asked me when talking about this whole CSA thing is “How much did it cost?”   My family signed up for the full share, weekly box, that should feed 3-4 people.   There are other, cheaper options if you are single or only want to get a box every other week.  The full share pricing was:

  • Spring weekly – $270
  • Summer weekly – $348
  • Autumn weekly – $216
  • Summer fruit – $270
  • Autumn fruit – $90
  • TOTAL – $1149, paid in advance
Almost $1200 seems like a lot for fruit and veggies but here’s a better translation for what that really meant to me:
  • The CSA schedule ran for seven months, 28 weeks.   ($1149/28= $41 per week)
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Did I get $41 worth of produce each week?   No.  The idea of average cost applies to this whole CSA box thing.  The spring weeks were mostly greens and are definitely smaller.   The late fall boxes are pumpkins, squash and potatoes.    Now, those fruit and veggie boxes through mid-summer were FULL!    The value over time was huge!    I canned and froze and saved and shared all summer long.   For the smaller boxes in the spring, the summer and fall boxes absolutely made up for the difference.  If you have been following this blog for very long, you have seen all of the boxes and recipes and fun that I have had.   That’s what this blog is really about — it was just an outlet for all of the meal planning and extra effort that I put into this experience.   I have to say that I had a lot of fun with it but it wasn’t without a TON of work.    I learned all about all kinds of new-to-me vegetables.  I’ve never been a Betty Crocker-type but I like to have dinner at home with my family.   The CSA experience is all about eating with your family — otherwise, those fresh veggies will go to waste.   And, who wants that?
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That’s the downside to the CSA thing.   You can’t be lazy about it.   There is a commitment to the CSA box.   You have be in full gear to make use of whatever arrives each week or it will go bad on you in a hurry.   Then, you have spent money for nothing and, frankly, missed out on probably the best food you could put your hands on for your area.  There is really something to be said for the whole “Know Your Farmer” concept.   I feel fantastic knowing that I spent my money locally on organic foods that were grown by a real farm in my area.   That’s gold in my book.  If you haven’t done it already, find your local CSA or farmer’s market and make a plan to try this for yourself next year.    It is completely worth the effort.    Try this website to see what resources are available where you live:   Know Your Farmer
In the meantime, I’m working on a Top 10 list for this year and posting some of the highlights later this week.   Any votes for Reader’s Favorite?   Just add your favorite in the comments and keep checking to see which post is the favorite for the year!
And, if you would like to see some of the other things that I have been doing out in the world, please visit my photoblog at www.gingerleaphotography.com

Fall CSA, Week Eight–The Season Finale

Can you believe we started this adventure in April and the 2012 season is already done?    Time flies when you are having fun!

The last veggie box is here and I am ready for Thanksgiving.   And, I am thankful for this year’s CSA.   I had no idea what it would be like and I have enjoyed every bit.   I am especially thankful for the awesome little farm that makes this happen, Lattin Farms.   They rule!   I added some links below to the other farms on the veggie list.  Please take the time to give them a click.  Fallon and Yerington, Nevada, don’t look like much on the map but the farms out there seriously know what they are doing.

So, what’s in the veggie box?

  • Butternut Squash
  • Speckled Hound Squash
  • Bull’s Blood Beet Greens
  • Spinach
  • Tango Lettuce
  • Gourmet Lettuce
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Popcorn on the Cob
  • Ornamental Gourds
  • Sunchokes from Mewaldt Organics
  • Onions from Peri & Sons
  • Potatoes from Carroll Farms

HOLY, ORVILLE REDENBACHER!   We have real popcorn!   This going to be so much fun for movie night!   (I have tried 10,000 ways to rotate this photo and failed.  Then, I decided it was just as cute sideways.   Oh, well.  We are silly that way.)

And, what would the veggie box be without a mystery vegetable??   This final box did not disappoint.  At first, I thought these mysterous tubers were part of a seriously generous bag of fresh ginger.   But, whoa, that would be A LOT of ginger!   I was quickly informed that these are sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes.   I will be Googling ideas for what to do with them.   Any suggestions?

I don’t always point it out on the veggie list but almost everything is completely organic, especially the Lattin Farms produce.   That’s a big deal.   The official certification process to call your food “organic” is pretty complicated and Lattin Farms is the real thing.   Here’s some more info and a link if you would like to check it out:

“What is organic food? Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.  Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.  Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.  Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.  Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.”

Consumer Brochure, USDA National Organic Program, http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/Consumers/brochure.html

The best resource for Nevada grown produce and everything related is:   http://nevadagrown.com/    They have some links on the site for other states but this has quickly become my go-to spot for local goodies.   I hope you can find one like it for where you live.

After all of the Thanksgiving festivities, I will post the season highlights/lowlights with cost information for the CSA.   I have enjoyed this experience and it has made me interested in being a better localvore.    I think there are some good resources in the Reno area to make this happen so … stay tuned.   I’ll still be posting my adventures throughout the winter.   Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Fall CSA, Week Seven, and “Hey, Look at My Nut Sack!”

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Squash season continues!  This box has some delightful fall goodies in it.    What did I get this week?

  • Speckled hound squash (that’s the pumpkin-looking thing … that I have no clue what to do with, by the way)
  • Butternut Squash
  • Carrots
  • Tango Lettuce (my hubs favorite)
  • Shallots
  • Thyme
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Dried flowers from the fabulous Debbie Colbentz (she did the pepper ristras last week, too)

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The dried flowers were perfectly cute and just the right thing for this box of CSA-happiness.   I hung them in my kitchen right next to the peppers.   Thanks, Debbie.   This made me smile.

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There’s only one more week of veggie boxes, people.    What am I going to do after this is all over for the year?   I imagine there will be a long list of things that I am thankful for with the holiday next week.   I am definitely thankful that I tried this whole CSA thing.   The organic farms in my area are the best!

OH — bonus, this week!    Check out my nuts:

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This bag of walnuts is not from my CSA but, even better, these walnuts are from a friend.   My husband brought them home last night and I thought would share it with the blog-o-sphere.   (hahaha … omgawd … I just realized that I am posting a picture of my husband’s nuts on the internet!   He will be so proud.)

OK, juvenile humor aside, does anyone have any ideas for what I should do with these nuts?   Any walnut fans out there?


Fall CSA, Week Six

The air is cold and there is a storm coming over the mountains.    It is going to snow tonight.  This makes me realize that there are only a few more weeks of the CSA boxes left to enjoy and I am a little sad.

That is … until I see the goodies in this week’s box.   What did I get?

  • spaghetti squash
  • delicata squash
  • carrots
  • turnips
  • carrots
  • mizuna and mixed lettuce
  • parsley
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • radishes

AND … a chile pepper ristra from Debbie Coblentz.

What’s a chile pepper ristra?   According to the CSA newsletter, it is Mexican folklore that hanging a ristra on your door or in your home brings good luck.   The ristra is a bunch of hot peppers attached together by a string that have been dried.   The note on the peppers suggests putting a little bit in recipes throughout the year and to use them up by next spring.

Isn’t it cute??

 

 


Thai-Spiced Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Peanut Satay

The force is strong in the spaghetti squash.   When the green beans waged the flavor war on them, it wasn’t really fair.   The green beans had bacon on their side.   And, well, bacon is known for its Jedi mind tricks, especially at my house.  If you have no idea what I am typing about … there was a vegetable war at my house a while back.   Read all about it HERE.

Now, let it be known that if you make the spaghetti squash gods mad by calling it boring, they will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.   Thai-spiced vengeance and anger.   Tonight, the veggie war was on … on like Donkey Kong!

It all started to come together back at the CSA box pick-up last week.   I have mentioned before that I love the volunteer that is there every week.   She is super friendly and helpful.   This week, she was looking through one of those freebie magazine things that they give out at Whole Foods, Delicious Living.   She pointed out this awesome thai-inspired recipe and pretty much commanded to me that this was right up my alley.   She was right.   Here’s the full recipe and LINK:

3 3 1/2 pounds spaghetti squash
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 medium-large Fresno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 medium-large Thai peppers, chopped (seed for less heat)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
chopped roasted peanuts and lime wedges, for garnish
Recipe Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350˚. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove membranes and seeds, brush lightly with olive oil, and place cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 55–60 minutes, until flesh shreds easily with a fork. Cool slightly, remove flesh into strands with a fork, and set aside. In a large, deep sauté pan, heat sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add ginger, garlic, coriander, and peppers; sauté until fragrant and tender, 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Add squash threads and toss; add cilantro and toss until well combined. Serve immediately, garnished with peanuts and a squeeze of lime.
My modifications were to add some purple basil with the fresh cilantro.   I didn’t have any lime so I did a quick splash of lemon juice just to give it that zest of flavor.   OH, I also didn’t do the peanuts.   The side of peanut satay chicken gave the touch of flavor needed here.   And, yup, I also did not have any fresh ginger.   I substituted dried ground ginger from the spice rack.   I’m sure fresh would have been better here but it worked out just fine.   And, the peppers were from the CSA box weeks ago.   They had just enough fire to be hot but not enough to burn your face off or anything.
For the chicken peanut satay, this was a total cheater.   I just happened to have a jar of Trader Joe’s peanut satay sauce in the cabinet.   I just grilled up some chicken and simmered.   Easy.
Wowzers!   This is by far one of the best food experiments that I have managed to not screw up to date.   Really, really good.   As in … game on, BACON.   Those green beans would not have stood a chance next to this spaghetti squash.
If you are in the spirit to have some thai-spiced vengeance and anger in your life, go cook a spaghetti squash.   It’s really tasty.

Fall CSA, Week Four

What’s on the goodie menu this week?

Organic Acorn Squash, Organic Spaghetti Squash, Organic Carrots, Organic Lettuce, Organic Red Onions, Organic Peppers, Organic Tomatoes, Organic Heirloom Tomatoes, Organic Parsley from Mewaldt Organics, Potatoes from Carroll Farms, Onions from Snyder Farms and Apples from Friendly Fernley Franklin Farms.

This week is the last week of the fruit boxes.   And, I was a little sad to realize that it’s all coming to an end.   On the flip side, THAT BOX IS FULL!!   I have tons of cooking projects planned for this weekend so expect to see lots of good stuff on this site next week.

This is my first CSA year and probably one of the first years  in a very long time that I truly enjoyed summer.   I am normally a winter person and I totally look forward to snow.   This year is bittersweet.   The end of summer is the end of camping and trips to the lake with my family.   And, the end of CSA season.

Well, at least, I have still have a few more weeks of the veggie box to look forward to before it’s all gone!