Thursday, June 5, 2008

CSA Week, Part 3

Notes from Year Two – Loving the Farm

March, 2005

Here’s a moment to be proud of: at dinner tonight, I ate three slices of onion-and-pepper pizza! I know, lots of people eat onion-and-pepper pizza every day, but for me, this was a first. It was really good! I’m going to keep trying peppers, I’ve made it my goal to like them by the end of this growing season. Fingers crossed!

Mid-August, 2005

Halfway through our second summer at the farm, and we are loving it, if possible, more than last year. The greens weren’t as terrifying this spring, because I know how to store extra for the off-season. The tomato haul hasn’t been as good this year, because of the relatively cool weather, but we’re getting enough to eat and enjoy, and keep some for tomato sauce – also, I got Aly’s awesome tomato sauce recipe, so now I have two fresh-tomatoes-into-sauce recipes which end up tasting fantastic, but very different.

And why, I wonder, have I had such a low opinion of sweet peppers? Especially the “ethnic” peppers, they are just bursting with yumminess. I’ve been tentatively using peppers to cook with – Al’s sauce recipe calls for a few peppers – but it’s really Owen who convinced me that peppers are the way to go. That kid, at age one, eats a grown-up serving of them, and begs for more. Even Luke will nibble at them, if they are served with ranch dressing for dip. Ben, a lifelong sweet pepper lover, thinks I’m silly, but this has really been a revelation for me. I’d never even thought to give stuff like chopped up peppers to Luke when he was small – I wish I had, he’d probably be less picky if he’d been exposed to stuff like that as a baby.

Now, if I could just get over our eggplant aversion; the farm is exploding with eggplant. I haven’t felt pressure to take any - whatever we leave on the table at the farm goes to local food pantries and homeless shelters – but so far, all I’ve managed is to bring home an eggplant, chop it in half, brush it with oil and balsamic vinegar, and roast it. This was suggested by a fellow shareholder at the farm, and sounded good - in theory. But when it came out of the oven, I couldn’t bring myself to taste it; maybe it’s a texture thing, I don’t know, I just don’t like the look of eggplant. Yet – if I can master peppers this year, who knows what will happen in future seasons!

Because, it looks like we’re committed to the farm for the forseeable future. Ben agrees with me that it’s worth the money, and we are all eating - and feeling - well. Luke and I are both approaching healthy weights, and are rarely sick, even with colds – I think it’s because we’re eating good stuff for our bodies. And it tastes great too!

I love coming to the farm now, although it can be tough going to the field with the two boys to pick, say, a pint of cherry tomatoes. Owen will squirm to get out of the sling, and Luke just wants to stay in the car, he’s so tired after a busy summer day he often falls asleep on the way to the farm, and can be extremely bearish. I get to come on my own sometimes, and then, the farm is so peaceful and relaxing! I’m looking forward to next year when my boys are a bit older, and hopefully a bit more independent, so that we can enjoy our farm visits to the fullest.

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