Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I eat, therefore I garden. (and make Roasted Cabbage!)

I love my CSA but this time of year the CSA box can be kinda bare.  Hold on.  Do you know what a CSA is? I realized in my last post I didn’t explain so let me take the time to do so now.  It’s formally known as Community Shares Agriculture or a farm share.  Instead of the farm having to rely on commercial/corporate methods to get its products to market, it sells directly to the consumer.  What makes the CSA different than going to a farmers market is that we consumers commit to buying from the farm.  We buy a share in the farm!  We get a weekly delivery of whatever the farm is producing for a set price, no matter what happens.  There is risk in that if the farm has a bad year then so do you.  The extra plus is that because we “own” shares in the farm we are welcome to visit and even work on the farm if we like. 

My shares are with Taproots which is in the beautiful Annapolis Valley here in Nova Scotia Canada and they are in the process of becoming totally organic certified.  They have a couple of different farm shares you can participate in, a veggie share, fruit share, meat share, egg share and flower share.  The veggie and fruit shares come in two sizes, one smaller for 1-2 people and one larger for 4-5 people.  The flower share only runs for 10 weeks in the summer but helps the farm ensure biodiversity.  And they’re pretty! 

For the last 2 years I’ve had a small veggie, small fruit and meat share.  This year, since I have a freezer full of fruit, I’m getting a small veggie, meat, egg and flower share.  They also do a “Full Monty” which is everything the farm produces.  I may have to consider that next year but I’m worried it will be too much veg and fruit.  As I mentioned last post, I’m also looking to do some growing myself this year.  I’ll never be able to grow enough to replace my CSA which is not my objective anyway.  I love the idea of knowing where my food comes from but also watching to grow.  My CSA combined with my garden will do just that!

My criteria for garden planning was to pick plants that I don’t get enough of in my CSA, should mostly do well in containers and be hardy for my damp cool climate.  The seeds needed to be direct sow since I lack the space to properly start seedlings indoors.  I am also looking to overwinter and/or cold frame garden into the winter (preferably right through it but I’m not delusional).  I’ve got some non-GMO seed, mostly certified organic to grow mustard greens, spinach, lettuces, swiss chard, peas, zucchini, eggplant, runner beans, kohlrabi and herbs of all sorts.  I’m in the process of getting my deck rebuilt and extended, same for the patio below it as I mentioned in my last post.  But get this… the contractor figures he’ll be done in 2 weeks!  That’s before planting season really begins!!  And the contractor saved whatever wood was salvageable for planters and raised bed.  Reuse!

Current state of my back yard.  The dogs love it...
My CSA box was pretty small this week but I did make a great recipe from something in it that I wanted to share.  Cheap, cheap, cheap and easy!  Roasted Cabbage.  This is not your mother’s cabbage.  It can be quite tasty when not boiled to death.  And a great local green in the dead of winter…

Roasted Cabbage.
·         ½ a large cabbage, sliced in ½ in slices
·         Olive oil, to coat pan and toss with cabbage
·         1-2 tsp dried thyme
·         A smidge of salt and pepper
·         2 cups of grated cheddar or any cheese of your liking.  I used part cheddar and part Monterey jack.

1.       Preheat oven to 350F
2.       Grease a 9X13 in pan, a lasagna pan
3.       Toss sliced cabbage with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper
4.       Layer in the pan
5.       Cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
6.       Sprinkle with the cheese and cook another 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted.

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