Why is farm produce special?

You can tell by my vegetable drawer in the fridge, which is which. The farm produce is always in a random grocery sack from under my fridge. It has a little soil still left on it; it’s not uniform is shape. If I was smart, I bought some seconds and so they have some bumps and bruises. They are not perfect shiny objects. They are vegetables from the ground.

I feel so different when I cook with produce from the farm than I do with produce from the grocery store. I think the word that best describes how I feel when I cook with farm produce is “proud.” I’m proud to know where it’s from, who grew it, and that I’m doing something good for myself, for the earth, and for my community. I’m proud that I’m feeding my family something healthy and organic. I’m proud that I’m taking extra time to wash fresh soil from these veggies because I think it’s worth the extra effort.

And when I get to use multiple items from the farm in one dish, my pride grows exponentially. For every extra item I can incorporate, my smile and heart expand. And so this Autumn Kale Salad brings me lots of warmth. Apples, squash, and kale all from the farm: into the bowl and into my family’s bodies. Good job me! kale salad

 

 

My Week of Eating from the Farm

Guest Post from longtime work share member Meghan

The CSA shares at the farm have certainly been a bounty of delicious veggies over the last few weeks. Four years ago, when I started as a work share member at Vollmecke Orchards & CSA, it was a learning curve to get used to using everything each week. I have gotten much better at planning and experimenting with all of the wonderful produce, so decided it was time for a greater challenge.

shareHow hard would it be to spend a week eating only food from the farm? This would include using the local products that Vollmecke sells such as beef, fish, yogurt, cheese, bread and eggs, in addition to the produce in my share. My exceptions to my little experiment were seasonings, condiments and beverages. As a relatively non-adventurous chef, I was a little nervous about trying this for a week, but after telling my farm friends of my idea, I was committed!

I picked up my share one Friday afternoon and also purchased eggs, a salmon filet, beef grillers, bread and cheese. I wrote down everything I had on hand and planned out the dinners for the week. So how did the week look? Breakfasts were fruit (raspberries and melon) and bread most days. I had Vollmecke Orchards’ apple butter on hand already, which is fantastic on Wonderful Good Market’s multi-grain bread. One weekend morning was classic eggs, potatoes and fruit. Lunches included egg salad sandwiches, green salads with tomatoes & Blazing Horizon cheese (also from Wonderful Good Market), and dinner leftovers.

Dinners were where the fun occurred:

Did I cheat? Yep. Over the course of the week I had two spoonfuls of peanut butter, and I added avocado to my fish tacos.

Was it hard? Not really! It took a little bit more planning ahead than I usually do, but it was fun to try some new things. Not having pasta, rice and beans was weird since they are staples in our pantry. The best part of the week was realizing that I snack on processed food too much. It’s so easy to grab a handful of goldfish crackers or make a quick stop at Wawa. This was a revelation for me, and one thing I will really take away from this experience.

Will I keep going? As much as I can. I am going to make a greater effort to eat more locally, especially at this time of year when it is so easy to do! Stock up on things you love that can be frozen or canned–you will love pulling them out in January!