CSA means being a part of the farming community in your area, and you do not need to get your hands dirty.
Every Monday afternoon, I head to a neighboring town. I return with a bag of vegetables that I recognize, and a few that are new to me. With the rather short growing season here in Maine, one would think that not much could come from the sandy, coastal soil, but Maine is as amazing as the Maine-uhs (pronunciation of Mainers) who make it all happen. I know lots of states are industrious, but I live here, so it is what I see in my little corner of the world. My corner = my reality. And for the summer, I love that this is my reality. There are those who love the winters here, but after a half dozen of them, I am sorry to say, that I am not amongst them.
Maine does have a growing season. It really does. It’s short, but it’s here.
Bringing it back to cooking and food, when it comes to Maine, the summer and early fall months are the best for the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that come home each week in the CSA bag. CSA? It stand for Community Sustained Agriculture. It means that you take a part in helping the farm to achieve its goals by taking stock in what they might or might not produce. Quite literally, if the crop is bountiful you get plenty, and if the crop fails, you share in the tears shed. I have never had a no crop summer, nor lacked for variety in the bag. Long before the season begins, January, an email arrives about the upcoming season asking if you want to take part, order and egg share and/or meat share, and if you want veggies for 2 or 4. We do 4, even if there are only two of us most of the time here to eat them. I freeze and process what we cannot eat immediately , and save it for those dark winter months when we crave a bit of non-seasonal produce.
Lettuce, lettuce, lettuce.
The late spring/early summer brings more lettuce than you can imagine. It gets washed and every Monday night we eat a gigantic salad (ginormous as a good friend states). Normally we take part in the meat share, but as I do not eat meat, and the husband was involved in a butchering procedure this past fall, we have a freezer full of “dead cow.” I cook it, the others eat it. Anyway we do the egg share times two. It is one of the reasons that eggs show up in our posts so frequently, plus they are really good for you.
Last week and this week the bags were pretty much the same, so as to not be redundant, I am only doing one salad post. As simple green salad with perfectly hardboiled eggs was dinner. EasyPeasy.
Wash dirt and slugs – it comes from a farm – off of the lettuce. If you do not own a salad spinner, invest in one. It saves lots of time at the sink and if you have wee ones at home still, they love to spin it. Involve them early and they will want to cook as they grow up.
Cook the eggs.
Make the vinaigrette.