I’m so over sad produce from the grocery store: wilted, soggy herbs that were crushed in boxes, yellow spotted cruciferous vegetables, and bruised fruit. This is usually the time of year that I’m anticipating some homegrown yummies from our garden, but we didn’t fill our containers this season due to our busy schedules. Still, it is important to me to eat fresh, in-season produce as much as possible.
We’re fortunate to have the beautiful Fulton St. Farmers Market in Grand Rapids and I’ve been incorporating Saturday trips into my #grocerycrawl routine. In addition to staple produce I like trying new items (hello garlic sourdough) and experimenting with new-to-me veggies.
As much as I love wandering the stalls I’ve always wanted to try a CSA box to streamline our trips, eat in season, and (best of all) support a local farm. I realized I was spending between $20 and $30 on produce each market trip, which is the same cost of a weekly CSA. Last Wednesday (the first day of summer!) I picked up our first box from Groundswell Community Farm at the market. We were a couple of weeks late, but we were still able to sign up midseason.
What’s in the Box Series
I love food (duh) and I miss sketching. Over the course of our summer CSA I’ll be sharing what was in our box each week and how we eat our way through it. I hate wasting produce and I like a challenge, so this will hold me accountable and let me flex my drawing muscles.
If you’re curious about trying a CSA, but not sure what to expect or why you should eat things like beet greens, follow along!
June 20 CSA Box
Beets: We had a choice between a bunch of beets or carrots. I couldn’t pass up on beets with beautiful greens which are delicious sautéed with a little bit of coconut oil. If you buy fresh beets don’t toss the greens and stems! They’re high in fat soluble vitamins A and K and water soluble vitamins C and B2. The greens are also great sources for minerals calcium and magnesium. The beets contain plenty of folate – about 5-6x what is found in the leaves.
We enjoyed ours raw in salad and roasted with carrots served as a side-dish with goat cheese and tahini.
Bok choy: This isn’t one of my favorite vegetables because of the bitter flavor, but I’m trying to branch out! I’m serving ours as a side to asian meatballs.
White radishes: These were more mild than red radishes and I added them to Neil’s mason jar salads.
Mixed greens: We made a bag of mixed salad greens. These were so crisp and beautiful and perfect for salads. (I’m turning into a rabbit, slowly but surely).
Red lettuce: We still had lots of greens from our weekend market trip, so I gave this head to Neil’s parents.
Big ass lettuce: I think this was actually a lolla rossa lettuce, according to some Googling. I used this one in tuna salad sourdough sandwiches and in HUGE chopped salads.
Cilantro: This herb in particular is always in poor shape at large grocery store chains. Our CSA bunch was a small, cute little bundle that I threw into a sauce for asian burgers on Thursday. We definitely could have used more herbs.
Kale: We had a choice of kale or swiss chard. I opted for kale and chopped it to have on hand for breakfast sautés and smoothies.
Broccoli: Always a favorite! We roast several heads a week, so I ended up buying more. I also peeled the stem and roasted that too.
Arugula: Extra crisp and spicy! I like to sauté it in Kerrygold butter and top with runny eggs in the morning.
Mint: My newest victim. I chose this lil buddy from the selection because it spreads like crazy and I really want a mojito.
Garlic scapes: I can’t believe I’ve never experimented with these! There were PILES of scapes, but they don’t hang out at the market long. I used most of ours in a big batch of pesto that we added to sardine veggie bowls, eggs, and zoodle spaghetti. I’ll definitely be freezing some pesto and chop the remaining scapes for use in egg scrambles and as a side for our steaks.
We’re two days away from our next box and the end of greens is in sight. Washing and properly storing them took awhile, but made all the difference and made for great podcast time.
Mesclun / mixed greens bought in plastic containers at the store always seem to be soft and on their last legs. All of our greens were crisp, colorful, and flavorful.
Salad spinners are an absolute necessity. I found ours for $12 on Homegoods (compared to $20 for the same model on Amazon).
Have you tried a CSA box?
What’s your favorite way to prepare garlic scapes?
Let me know in the comments and follow along on Instagram! I also share random food things and silliness on Stories.