This past Thursday, Isaac and I went down to Twenty-One and
Main, a restaurant in downtown Elkin, to pick up our first box of fresh
vegetables from our CSA.  For those of
you who don’t know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  In a nutshell, Crystal and I split a share of
fresh fruit and vegetables from a farm in Wilkesboro called Tumbling Shoals Farm.  Every Thursday from May until
September, either Crystal or I will go down to one of the drop-off spots, pick
up a box of fresh food for the week and then split it between our two families.

I have been super excited the past few weeks just with the
anticipation of picking up fresh, organic food. 
The benefits are awesome.  For one
thing, I know exactly where the food came from. 
I know, through email at least, the girl who has grown all of it, I know
that it hasn’t been sprayed with harmful chemicals, and I know that it wasn’t
picked before it was ripe and then shipped thousands of miles, which, as we all
know, costs a lot of money.  I also know
that I’m supporting a local farm from right here at home.

I guess one drawback might be that you don’t know what
you’re getting from one week to the next and supply depends on weather and
what’s available at any given point, but I think that’s part of the fun
too.  It was fun to open up that box and
see what we had for the week.  Some of it
was not stuff, believe it or not, that I was familiar with.  For one thing, I’ve never cooked beet greens
or whole beets.  My knowledge of beets
pretty much stops with the canned ones in the store, which, after having eaten
the real thing now, pale in comparison.

The cool thing about Shiloh at Tumbling Shoals is that she
provides plenty of recipes for just such an emergency.  Something unfamiliar in your box?  No worries—just go to the farm’s website, and
you can find any number of awesome recipes to try with your ingredients.

That night, I roasted the beets in a glass dish with just a
little olive oil for about 45 minutes on 350 degrees.  After they had cooled, the skins pretty much
slid right off and I diced them over the fresh salad greens that were also in
the box, added some chopped herbs and a sprinkle of warm goat cheese, and then
drizzled it with a little balsamic; it was awesome.

The beet greens were super easy to saute’ in a little olive
oil.  I threw in some onions too, and
they were a great side dish.  Beets might
be one of my new favorite foods.

Isaac and Harper Lee were big fans of the sweet
strawberries, and Isaac has now discovered the wonders of dill.  All in all, it was a pretty successful first
week.  We can’t wait to see what’s in our
box this Thursday, and in the meantime, our squash and tomatoes are taking over
my tiny little garden space. 

It’s going to be a summer of creative cooking though nothing,
not even a warmly roasted beet, can replace the love I have in my heart for a
plain old tomato sandwich on white bread with a little mayonnaise and salt.