Monday, June 17, 2013

CSA Season is Back!

Summer officially begins for us when we start getting our CSA shares. A CSA is a Community Supported Agriculture program, and this would be our seventh year being members at the Fresh and Local "biodynamic" CSA of our great farmer-friends Alan and Maura Balliet out in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. This stuff is way beyond FDA organic!

Basically what CSA shareholders do is help finance the seed and labor of a local farm, and they get a farm-fresh bag of amazing goodies delivered weekly. Sometimes the veggies are even picked on the same day! Our CSA also offers free-range eggs, wild flowers, and fruit shares you can buy into. This is the closest us city folks can come to growing our own clean food.

So last week we received our first bag of the season. There were so many greens I decided to juice lots of it in the Blendtec. But there were also some beautiful spring onions in the bag, and a lovely cauliflower which I fried in Palestinian olive oil and made into my own version of makloubeh!

Making a biodynamic dish is by far one of my favorite CSA cooking challenges. I consider a dish biodynamic when at least 80% of the ingredients come from the same source farm. An example would be getting a share with string beans, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. With a little olive oil and salt, you can make the most amazing biodynamic loubieh b'zeit. There's something truly spiritual in the biodynamic dishes we prepare. I can't explain it too well, but eating it is not just a dancing experience for your taste buds, but a holistically medicinal feeling in your body.

On that note, I'll end with a quote I recently noticed in this gem of a book about food and growing it (Thanks, TQ!)  From Akkar to Amel: Lebanon's Slow Food Trail.

"Traditional local products are time-travelers bringing a message from the distant past." -Corrado Berberis

For a CSA near you, go here and type in your zip code.

Stay your food.

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