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First Day of the CSA

June 7, 2017

Spring is all about rain, but that doesn’t make it any less gloomy. There are some things you can do to make it better. It feels like the perfect season for a bright, tropical, East-Coast-style IPA. Something to bring out the sunshine that we just know is hiding behind those clouds.

Part of me would think that all of this rain is necessary for helping things grow. I see all the pollen that’s been blown around the region buried in the grass, and as these rains help to sink those seeds into the soil, it feels like bearing witness to their natural destiny.

Maybe that’s true, but what do I know. I couldn’t make rosemary grow in Northern California where it’s practically a weed.

This is just one reason why I outsource all my local, sustainable produce growing. I was going to add seasonal to the list of adjectives, but when produce is truly local, it can’t help but be seasonal. Well, except for those people who are doing that hydroponic basil, bless their hearts. But I digress.

Yesterday was the first day of my CSA. Woo hoo! And once again, life has sprung forth from the frozen soils around the Capital Region. So, what did I do with my bounty? Good question.

I stuck it away in the fridge and went out for Fish Fry. Did you know that Ted’s is now making something called Buffalo fish fry with a classic Frank’s sauce and blue cheese? I couldn’t resist.

Look, sometimes life and parental responsibility get in the way. And part of me is bummed that I didn’t get to enjoy a salad with lettuces that were just picked from the ground, slathered in an intense Tuscan olive oil, with a splash of French vinegar, and a sprinkle of Maldon salt.

That will definitely happen today.

Because the thing about getting a CSA share is that you have to use the veggies in strategic order based on what’s going to fade first. So I might find the time to squeeze in a batch of pesto, since we got an insanely fragrant bunch of basil from the farm. It feels early for basil, but I’m not arguing.

The radish greens won’t last long, but they don’t go that far either. Most likely, I’ll braise them in chicken stock with some garlic, anchovy, and red pepper flakes. Then Mrs. Fussy and I can mix those deeply flavored greens into some pasta while the kids make do with simpler oil and cheese topped noodles.

Thanks to Deanna Fox, I now am aware of the glories of roasted radishes, so instead of shaving them onto a salad, this will likely be their fate. Unless it gets really hot in the next couple of days. In that case I might make them into some kind of slaw. That would also help me use up the green onions. But those I might just throw on the crap gas grill to char and eat them straight. Yep, that old grill is still kicking. It’s totally going to get me through this season. Come hell or high water. Just watch.

I’m not so sure what we’ll do with the kale. I think the kids have forgotten about kale chips. Thank god. Damn, those were a pain in the ass to make. Maybe the kale gets mixed into the radish green pasta. Maybe I save it until the lettuce is gone and do one of those massaged kale salads.

Time will tell.

There were also some potatoes thrown in to balance out the load. Because apparently, the early part of this growing season has been uncharacteristically cold and wet. So production of vegetables on our farm is a bit behind. But since storage vegetables around these parts are incredible, these mighty spuds made it through from last season, and they are looking gorgeous.

That’s the thing about eating seasonally in upstate New York. Early spring is still largely about last year’s storage crops. It’s a little bit of a bummer to have those stretch into the start of CSA season. But that’s how it goes.

It’s a great experience to be able to see and taste how the sun, rain, and soil play a role in the food we eat.

This year, we’re going halfsies again on the CSA with another family. My hope is that I’ll be able to do enough cooking to justify a visit to Fort’s Ferry Farm in Latham. I’ve heard good things. And now that I’ve looked up the address on Google Maps, I know exactly where it is. What I don’t know is when they open for the season. Hopefully soon.

If you haven’t already, get yourself some fresh seasonal local produce. It’s truly fantastic stuff.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. EPT permalink
    June 7, 2017 9:53 am

    It looks like Forts Ferry Farm is under major renovations. I think their opening may be delayed this year. I look forward to seeing what Emma and husband has in store for us.

  2. RogerK permalink
    June 7, 2017 5:48 pm

    Sure! Leave us hanging on whether the Buffalo Fish Fry is worth trying.

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