CSA 101

This year, I decided to try out signing up for a CSA for the first time.  When you join a CSA (community supported agriculture), a local farmer allows the public to buy a certain number of “shares” of their crop.  You can learn more about the advantages of joining a CSA by visiting Local Harvest’s website, but for me, the biggest advantage is knowing that our produce is grown right down the street from us, without a bunch of chemicals and pesticides.  We’ve really enjoyed eating fresh, in-season foods that we might not normally purchase from the grocery store.

Our CSA share is with Palovchak’s Produce in Doylestown, PA, which is conveniently on my way home from work.  We purchased a half share, as it’s only the two of us.  Every Wednesday afternoon, from May through October, we get to pick up our weekly share of produce.  The selection changes week to week, depending on what’s in-season.  Here’s a picture of their little farm stand that I grabbed from their page on the Local Harvest site:

Palovchak's

The owners of Palovchak’s are so nice! They will usually recommend recipes or tell you how to prepare whatever it is that you’re picking up, if you’ve never tried it before.  They post how many of each item to pick up on a little blackboard.

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I’ve learned a lot from my experience joining a CSA this year – here are a few tips!

1.  Don’t be afraid to try something new!  Ever tried kohlrabi?  Garlic scapes?  Pea shoots?  Squash blossoms?  Chocolate mint?  I can say I have 🙂  Use the weekly produce selection as a way to branch out and give some new recipes a try, too.  Here are a few recipes I’ve tried recently:

2.  Prep the veggies right away when you get home.  I learned the hard way that if I didn’t make it easy to eat all of this produce, I’d let it sit in my fridge for too long.  When I come home from picking up my delivery, I immediately fill the sink with a bunch of cold water to wash my greens, then wrap them in a paper towel and store in a plastic bag.  I also learned a neat trick for storing fresh corn: dampen a paper bag, store the corn in the bag, and place that bag inside another plastic bag and keep in the fridge.

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3.  Stay organized.  Again – learned this one the hard way.  I’ve found it helpful to keep a little dry erase board on the fridge, listing each thing we have for the week.  That way, I’m much more likely to use the produce in a recipe, and can reference the list when I’m meal planning for the week.

csa list

I hope you find these tips helpful! Have you ever joined a CSA? What did you think? (oh, and happy Friday 🙂 )

What I Ate Wednesday + Random Outfit

Hi friends! It feels nice to be paying attention to this little blog again 🙂  I’m here today with a “WIAW,” or What I Ate Wednesday, courtesy of Peas & Crayons (click the button in this post to visit the P&C blog!).

Today was a pretty typical day of eats for me.  I started off my day with my daily ritual of watching the Today Show with a cup of coffee and breakfast, a bowl of Bear Naked Fit cereal with coconut milk:

Breakfast WIAWLunch was from California Tortilla.  I’m not a huge fan of this place, but I wanted to get some fresh air at lunchtime so I walked over there from my office.  The food is – eh, ok.  They do have an interesting selection of hot sauces with names like, “Rectal Rocket Fuel.”  And I’m serious.  I ordered a chicken and veggie bowl with brown rice and a Vanilla Diet Coke.

Lunch WIAWThe hubs picked up dinner for us tonight, which was pretty much a repeat of my lunch!  I didn’t complain, though, as I was starving and this came from one of my favorite places, Chipotle.  He ordered me a veggie bowl with black beans, fajita veggies, and guac.  Good stuff 😉

Dinner WIAWAnd on a random side note, I thought you might find it funny that I noticed I wore the exact same color scheme today as the Vera Bradley that I carry to work every day.

OOTDSo matchy matchy!

Now I’m just relaxing and watching the last few minutes of Top Chef Masters on Bravo (obsessed).  Hope you’ve had a great day!

Randomness

10 Random Facts

Yep, I totally agree that it’s pretty random for me to suddenly update my blog after neglecting it for so long. Ah, you know, maybe someday I’ll get my act together and get on a regular posting schedule 🙂

I love getting to know little random facts about other people, and thought it would be fun to share the same here in order to kick off hopefully a new season of regular blogging. So without further ado, 10 random things about me:

  1. I’m a lefty.  I remember my kindergarten teacher taking the pencil out of my left hand and placing it into my right to try to force me to become a righty, but nope!
  2. Speaking of writing, I have a kind of neat party trick that I can do – starting at the middle of a page, I can write backward with my left hand and forward with my right hand at the same time.
  3. I seriously love the scent of citrus dishwasher detergent.  Something about it smells so clean and delicious to me.  Ever seen that show called My Strange Obsession, where women eat things like chalk, or couch cushions, or nail polish?  Yeah, I have a strange urge to eat dishwasher detergent (but haven’t ever tried it…yet).
  4. I can’t STAND the sound of people chewing loudly.  It makes my skin crawl!
  5. Even though I don’t like green beans, I make myself eat them once a year just to make sure I still don’t like them. Usually it’s – you guessed it – at Thanksgiving dinner with that disgusting green bean casserole someone always makes.
  6. My husband and I met on Myspace.  HA!
  7. I have 3 tattoos (and am dying to get another one)
  8. My friends tell me I’m a good storyteller.
  9. I’ve had nightmares about tornadoes ever since I saw The Wizard of Oz at 6 years old. Yet, it’s still one of my favorite movies.
  10. My name (Menden) is a nickname of my middle name, Mendenhall, which is a family name.

Well, that was fun!  Anyone else wanna join in?  Leave me a comment below with something random about yourself, or let me know if you post something similar on your own blog!  xoxo