Vegetables Runneth Over

July 09,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Today I received my weekly email from New Century CSA letting me know what will be in my share this week. You can read about our family's decision to join the CSA and learn more about CSA's if you are wondering what a CSA is all about. But in a nutshell, we decided to split a share of the CSA with my good friend Shannon and her family, since, being a CSA rookie, we had been told that there was ample produce each week to supply two family's produce needs. I decided to keep an open mind when our first two deliveries of produce contained a mere small bag of sweet peas, a few green onions and strawberries. Last week however, our share volume exploded! In fact, when we arrived home to find our CSA delivery on the back porch, I called Shannon to come pick up her half, only to discover that she already had! The bounty covered our small bistro table and filled our refrigerator to the brim. But back to the email I just received, the one that outlines our share for this week. Instead of just a handful of items, this week we will get: Bulb onions (the sweetest you have ever tasted) Leaf lettuce Romaine lettuce Spinach Broccoli Yellow Summer Squash Zucchini Cucumbers Vitality Sweet Corn Green Beans Cabbage Jalepeno Peppers Banana Peppers Raspberries Phew! While we went into the CSA to support locally grown, pesticide-free produce, a huge, major upside is that our whole family is eating more vegetables than we would without such abundance in our home. It is changing the way I view menu planning, helping encourage the boys to try new foods, and best of all, giving us access to vegetables just hours after they are picked, vegetables that are sweeter, tastier and just plain good. Once the growing season is over later this autumn, I hope that our eating habits will persist, allowing us to continue our healthful reliance on vegetables in our meals. To that end, perhaps I need to figure out how to do some canning... SPC