Eleven weeks down and 15 more to go and the best things are still to come! Peaches which are ripening, sweet corn tasseling, melons growing, eggplant, basil, shallots, winter squash, pears, brussels sprouts, and much more!
For many of you this is the first time you have tried a CSA program. As you wade through new and possibly strange vegetables (ie: kohlrabi!) each week you may wonder again what the benefits are of eating locally. We found this list of reasons why it is important to eat locally and in season. This list is not complete but it is a good start!
10 Reasons to Eat Local Food
1. Eating local means more for the local economy. According to a study by the New Economics Foundation in London, a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. When businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction. (reference)
2. Locally grown produce is fresher. While produce that is purchased in the supermarket or a big-box store has been in transit or cold-stored for days or weeks, produce that you purchase at your local farmer's market has often been picked within 24 hours of your purchase. This freshness not only affects the taste of your food, but the nutritional value which declines with time.
3. Local food just plain tastes better. Ever tried a tomato that was picked within 24 hours? 'Nuff said.
4. Locally grown fruits and vegetables have longer to ripen. Because the produce will be handled less, locally grown fruit does not have to be "rugged" or to stand up to the rigors of shipping. This means that you are going to be getting peaches so ripe that they fall apart as you eat them, figs that would have been smashed to bits if they were sold using traditional methods, and melons that were allowed to ripen until the last possible minute on the vine.
5. Eating local is better for air quality and pollution than eating organic. In a March 2005 study by the journal Food Policy, it was found that the miles that organic food often travels to our plate creates environmental damage that outweighs the benefit of buying organic. (reference)
6. Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons. By eating with the seasons, we are eating foods when they are at their peak taste, are the most abundant, and the least expensive.
7. Buying locally grown food is fodder for a wonderful story. Whether it's the farmer who brings local apples to market or the baker who makes local bread, knowing part of the story about your food is such a powerful part of enjoying a meal.
8. Eating local protects us from bio-terrorism. Food with less distance to travel from farm to plate has less susceptibility to harmful contamination. (reference)
9. Local food translates to more variety. When a farmer is producing food that will not travel a long distance, will have a shorter shelf life, and does not have a high-yield demand, the farmer is free to try small crops of various fruits and vegetables that would probably never make it to a large supermarket. Supermarkets are interested in selling "Name brand" fruit: Romaine Lettuce, Red Delicious Apples, Russet Potatoes. Local producers often play with their crops from year to year, trying out Little Gem Lettuce, Senshu Apples, and Chieftain Potatoes.
10. Supporting local providers supports responsible land development. When you buy local, you give those with local open space - farms and pastures - an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped.
As farmers we would also like to add that commercial farmers only collect about 10 cents of the retail food dollar. The majority of that food dollar goes to brokers, advertising and shipping cost. Local farmers like Big Lick Farm who sell directly to the consumers cut out the middle person and get full retail price for their food. Farmers can earn a fair wage to raise their families.
Upcoming Farm Tour and Potluck!
We hope you can all join us for our annual farm tour/potluck. We have decided on Sunday, September 18th from 2-6pm. More details to come as we near the date! We hope you can all come out and see where/how your food is grown!
Enjoy this week's goodies!
Suzie, Asinete, Tione, Grandma GG, M.A, Sally and Violet
Harvest This Week Includes:
Kohlrabi (peel until you get to the tender flesh inside)
Walla Walla Onion (please store in fridge!)
Green Simpson Lettuce
Squash mix (zephyr and costata romanesco zucchini)
Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (recipe ideas below)
Raspberries OR Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
Maxibel Haricot Green Beans (full share only this week.. new planting just kicking into production).
Flat leaf parsley is a mainstay of our gardens each year. It grows all season and as we cut it it just comes back again better than before. Parsley is so good for you too! It is rich in Vitamins A and C and the minerals, iron and calcium.
Your parsley will keep very fresh stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. We love it especially chopped very fine and added to our fresh green salads. If you would like to get more fancy here are some ideas!
2 cups bulgur
2 cups boiling water
1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch mint
3 cloves garlic
juice of 4 lemons
⅓ cup olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Salt to taste
1. Place bulgur in large bowl, add boiling water and toss well with a fork. Let rest in refrigerator for ½ hour.
2. Finely chop mint and parsley; peel and finely chop garlic. Cut tomatoes into ¼” cubes. Slice scallions finely.
3. Add all vegetables to bulgur. Combine lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over bulgur-vegetable combination. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Let flavors blend for at least two hours before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Chimichurri a traditional Argentine spicy condiment that is typically served with grilled and roasted meats
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons minced onion
1/3 cup vinegar
5 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Finely chop the parsley and garlic in a food processor. Add the onion, vinegar, water, salt, oregano, pepper flakes, and black pepper and process until the salt crystals are dissolved.
2. Add the oil in a thin stream. Do not over process. The chimichurri should be fairly coarse.
3. Correct the seasoning, adding additional salt or vinegar to taste. Let stand at room temperature for several hours before serving.