Gettin' fresh … in Northern Nevada

Posts tagged “veggies

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!

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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!


Oh, Hail, NO!

I haven’t posted in a while because my garden is sad.   Well, it wasn’t sad at first.   It was doing quite nicely actually.   Just growing … slowly.

Then, this happened …

destruction

and this

storm messyard hail

and this

hail pile

 

Ugh.

A freak summer hail storm pretty much destroyed it all.   The frustration is too much for words.

I managed to rescue one pepper plant and harvest the carrots.   That’s all.   I think we managed to get a single tomato–ONE.

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So, what’s on the horizon for Fresh Veggies?   I’ll see you at the farmer’s market … or Whole Foods … or somewhere.   But, I don’t expect there to be much bloggin’ happening.   No worries–I’ll still be here but I think I’ll just be reading not posting.

Anyone care to share some garden success with me?   Lift my spirits?   Post some nice photos of what you’ve grown?  Please?


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.


My Local Food Co-Op

Instead of doing the CSA subscription this year, I have decided to forage for Fresh Veggies in the Desert on my own.   I love Lattin Farms and had a blast with the weekly CSA box last year.   No complaints.   I would just like to try something different.   And, I noticed lots of opportunities to get some of my farm favorites from local stores as well.   So, you can still expect to see Fallon produce at my house this year.

Today’s visit is to the Great Basin Community Food Co-Op in downtown Reno.   This fantastic store has grown from a tiny little co-op to a real, live contender to the regular chain grocery store.   I am smitten.   There are lots of ways to become a member and get a discount.  But, if you just want to drop by and shop, no problem.   Everyone is welcome!   For more info, please check out the GBCFC website HERE.   Or, check them out of Facebook HERE.

The store is located at 240 Court Street, near Arlington and the Truckee River.  Parking is odd but it’s downtown so either hope for some of the limited spots in their lot or buck up and figure out how to use the meter kiosk.   The Co-Op is in that funky Spanish-style building.   If you’ve wandered past Wingfield Park or out of the downtown casinos, you’ve seen it.

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Look at this produce section!   Wowzers.    Now, to be fair, this is not all grown in Nevada-proper.   But, Reno sits pretty darn close to California so that’s kinda local, right??    It’s all organic and beautiful.   There was lemongrass, fresh ginger and horseradish–not just your standard fare, here.

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Squashies, apples and pears.   WHAT??!   Is that a Honey Crisp apple?   OMG.  I love this place.

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Then, I saw this.   Fill your own container with honey.   Or vinegar.  Or olive oil.    REALLY!

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What?   You forgot to bring your own container?   Here’s some:

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The Co-Op packages up sandwiches and salads in the cooler for a quick lunch or snack.   Then, if you want to linger, there is a full upstairs with books and gifts to peruse.    I think I saw a seating area up there, too.   This place is a hidden treasure downtown.

The prices are fair but not cheap.  It’s Reno’s local Whole Foods.   Only better.   Because it’s not a chain store.   And a couple of other reasons.

There were just so many great things about this store that I couldn’t possibly pack it all into one post.   They have a locally roasted, proprietary blend of GBCFC coffee for crying out loud!    (Whole bean bag purchased, more on this later.)

You can bet I’ll be going back there and sharing more discoveries with you.

Do you have a local food co-op?   What do you think about it?   How does it compare to my desert oasis, the GBCFC?


Oh, SNAP! It is Week 7.

This is getting seriously green people. The goodies list for Week 7 includes:

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Tango Lettuce
Blood Beets
Fennel
Purple Top White Globe Turnips
Green Shallots
Green Garlic
Chard
Arugula
Snap and Snow Peas
Garlic Chives
Braising Mix

My fridge is full!

Last week, I thought it was interesting that someone else commented on what’s in the box and groaned about the greens.

This week, there was a guy lurping around the gal that is in charge of checking your name off of the list. At first, I didn’t pay much attention but he start to chat me up while I was loading up my stuff and I quickly picked up on his vibe.

He was using the line, “Hey, Baby. Wanna trade some veggies?” to get all of the CSA chicks to talk to him. Or, maybe, he was really just bored with the greens, too.   Either way, I was clueless to being picked up over veggies so I thought it was pretty funny.

He was sitting on the ground by boxes of veggies.   Not exactly sexy.

I asked if he wanted to trade something of mine for his snap peas. No way. He was trying to swap his turnips for my peas. OH, SNAP! Bad trade.

He was only moderately cute so, definitely, no deal.

Then, I started to notice something else … my CSA spot is Whole Foods. It’s cute and trendy.

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There is an outdoor courtyard to sit and chat.

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Holy crap! This is the single bar for healthy people. I am married and have a 3 year old. I had no idea. This place is chock full of beautiful people. I wonder how many hook ups start here? I think I have a secret desire to people watch here for an afternoon and see what’s really going down in Whole Foods parking lot.

In case you don’t already know … I always get this song stuck in my head at Whole Foods.   It now means a whole different thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UFc1pr2yUU