2018 CSAs Greater Boston Area - strategies and superlatives


#1

Oh good lord it has started . . . .

I signed up again for a 1/2 share of from Wilson Farm’s CSA. I’m not going to photo-document it again this year, but I’d be curious what anyone else is getting/liking/disliking from their CSAs as the season goes on.

I didn’t realize it was starting this week so I’ve done a mad scramble to find any last bits of frozen veggies still lingering in my freezer from last year - and shamefully I’ve found a few bags of things. So now not only do I have to get through what I receive each week, but I also have to get through what I didn’t get through this winter. I feel a lot of veggie soups coming on in the next week!

But the thing I found funny with the arrival of the first basket was the panic of seeing the beets. LOL We had so many beets last year and I just completely ran out of ideas and was sick of eating them. So right now that is the only thing in the basket that I’m just like - screw it if I don’t eat them (sorry I know I’m supposed to use every part of everything but that is where I am right now).

My plan this year was also to pickle/can/freeze what can be from the get go, so that I can focus on eating and enjoying the items that I’m most excited about while they are fresh out of the fields. But now I’m realizing that how on earth am I going to have time to pickle/can each and every week?!?

I need a strategy . . . . . maybe every 2 weeks. But right now I have cucumbers and beets that I already know need to be preserved somehow. Has anyone just frozen beets?


#2

This says you need to freeze them cooked. Beets are part of why I will never sign up for a CSA, lol. Cukes you can make into refrigerator pickles, no need to can. Recipes say good for 2 weeks but in my experience they are fine for a couple of months and then get just too vinegary. Good luck!


(Denise) #3

I confess that I too am not a fan of beets. My tactics, all of which I use over the season:

  • Roast them for later eating in salad or as part of a mezze dinner

  • Use the beet greens right away, and store beets in the fridge until I get to them—they’ll keep awhile

  • Give the beets away to a neighbor or by placing them in the extras basket at the farm stand (we pick up at the farm itself)


#4

This is so funny! Why do they send you so many beets? And can’t you simply tell them, “No beets, please!”


#5

Why don’t you take all you frozen vegetables, and a few beets, and make a vegetable stock, which you can then freeze in small portions?


(erica) #6

Make slaws. Shred beets, julienne cukes (or thin slice or use a peeler to make ribbons lengthwise). The vinegar will prevent spoilage but things get soggy after a couple of weeks in the fridge, so force yourself to eat it. I like to add carro and onion, and sometimes red bell pepper. Either sweetened vinegar and ground pepper, or your favorite bottled dressing (not as good for preserving).


#7

Another non-beet lover here. There’s just something about the combo of their taste and texture that I can’t get into.

My response is not going to be very helpful for you now, but I urge you to check out Lex Farm’s CSA next season (they have a fall CSA, too, and sell bulk veggies at Thanksgiving time which is awesome). While I don’t subscribe to the CSA since I like going to their farm stand and getting only what I need/want, their CSA loot always sound right up my alley (I am a member and receive their newsletters). Plus, everything is certified organic.

After a long absence from posting due to my dangnabbit work, I’m about to post a love letter to LexFarm…right now.


#8

These are all good suggestions. I’ll uave to think through the veg stock idea, hadn’t thought of that - not sure what beets will do in a stock but other items will work for sure.

The other ideas are all great too. The real thing I need to solve for is longer term preserving (pickles, canning, freezing). Just making things that stretch an item for a week are great but remember another basket shows up the next week, so on some level that just pushes the bottleneck.

Really it is a tragedy of abundance - we get a lot in the basket and typically a good variety of things - we just have trouble eating it all in a week - thus the push for preserving.


#9

Just wanted to share - I found this link about canning pickles using souls vide …


#10

Interesting, but I prefer pickling in brine, without sugar or vinegar.


(Denise) #11

Good to learn that other folks here are not fans of of the beet either. At the end of last season, I did get a spiralizer so that may be my next way to dispatch beets.


#12

yep. I think liability is the only reason recipes always throw under on how long quick pickles will last. they are def. safe for at least a month plus.

since I’m apparently the only one here who likes beets, I’m sending Thimes my address…


#13

I like beets too.


#14

Just for the record, I like beets too. I just can’t eat 8 a week for 6 weeks straight.


#15

But think how rosy your complexion must be (or golden) at the end of the period.


#16

Just wanna say I really enjoyed your CSA posts last year - and made me realize that I should just stick to farmer’s market. :laughing:

As far as beet goes, what about beet chips if you have a dehydrator or don’t mind the frying? Not exactly healthy, but they are quite good.


#17

Thanks sunny day. Chips are a great idea. I pickled the first round of beets and cucumbers.

Plenty of weeks to experiment coming up!


#18

Strawberries picking is now open (Tougas and Nourse Farm), although I suspect that another weekend of sunshine will help the berries ripen more. Went to Nourse Farm during lunch break and picked a few pounds. The ones ready for picking are on the big side (picture notwithstanding) but still plenty sweet and flavorful. The key is to find the ones dark red instead of ruby/rosy. The owner told me they have another varietal in a week or two that are smaller but even sweeter.


(Denise) #19

Our CSA share each week yields an abundance of greens at this point in the season. Variations on greens and beans are one of my go-tos. My tactic is to begin with already prepared, saucy beans of some kind to buy the time to wash and prep whatever greens we may have.

Last night: Started with a couple scoops of already prepared Lima beans with beef (Lebanese fasolia style, bought at Korbani’s) to which I had added sautéed tomatoes and garlic scapes. Orchiette pasta went into this sauce along with a cup of the pasta cooking water and lots of CSA spinach. Would have made a satisfying, speedy dinner even without the pasta. A squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil over the finished dish doesn’t hurt either.

I often use jarred Gigante beans from Trader Joe’s for this purpose because they’re so easy to keep on hand.

My next riff on greens and beans will probably be a batch of slow cooked collard greens served beside ready made baked beans.


#20

Local corn today picked up at LexFarm was really good (I finished off spring onion’s leftovers). Small sweet crisp kernels. B and I are looking forward to our own cobs for dinner (grilled salmon burgers with Vietnamese rice noodle salad).