Saturday, November 19, 2011

More squash and greens

The strawberry planting workshop was a success! We had so much fun. It was the first time that Guy or I had the chance to work with real farm equipment (i.e. tractors and attachments). We are used to doing all the work by hand. I can hardly wait to taste these delicious strawberries next Spring. Yum!

Here's our share for this week:
From the top left, anticlockwise: Green tomatoes, delicata squash, jalapenos (these were freebies from Farmer Jones at the market; thanks!), radishes with greens, turnip greens, daikon radishes, some kind of winter squash/pumpkin, and spicy greens mix (chard, arugula, and mustard greens).

Here's last week's haul:

From A Guy, a Girl, and a Dinner Plate
We got more spicy greens (lamb's quarter, mustard greens, and arugula).
From A Guy, a Girl, and a Dinner Plate
More delicata squash, two crookneck squash, a bunch of radishes with greens, and a late honeydew melon! That melon was the best honeydew I'd ever had. It was so ripe it could only be described as luscious.
From A Guy, a Girl, and a Dinner Plate
Turnip greens.
From A Guy, a Girl, and a Dinner Plate
A few garlic greens (I want more!), two zucchinis, a cucuzza, and a Japanese (SuYo Long) cucumber. Those cucumbers are just asking to be pickled. Too bad we only get one little guy every now and then.

Funny story about the squash blossom: we were given it as a special treat by our lovely Farmer Marie with instructions to stuff it with our homemade cheese, fry it, and post pictures. But when we went to stuff it, we found out a little caterpillar was already making it his dinner! He had destroyed the whole inner flower and it was inedible (for us, that is). Maybe next time...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More shares!

The garden is in full swing now and our shares are pouring in.

The last two weeks we have gotten more squash, spicy greens, and turnip greens.

At market this weekend, we also bought jalapeno relish, green tomatoes, and a sweet potato from one of the other vendors, Farmer Jones. This was the first time they sold produce at the market and I really hope they come back next time.

Tomorrow morning we have a strawberry planting workshop out at the farm. Guy and I are really excited about that. As CSA members we get to participate for free!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Summer make-up shares

Well, folks, after a long, dry, hot summer with very meager shares, the CSA is finally producing again.

Normally this is a little break period where the garden is ramping up for the coming fall harvest and Farmer Marie sells the small amount of available produce to supplement the farm's income. But this year she's giving that produce to those of us who stuck with the CSA through the tough summer months. I think half of the shares ended up leaving.

It was very interesting for us to see first hand the hardships that farms deal with. It certainly made me appreciate my vegetables and my farmer more.

Last week we received 3 lbs of summer squash, plus purslane and summer spinach. This week it's: 3 lbs of summer squash (a tiny cucuzza, some patty pan, a crookneck, and two varieties of zucchini), 3.5 oz of purslane, 3.5 oz of summer spinach, and 10 oz of spicy green salad mix (arugula, baby mizuna, and baby mustard greens).

Perhaps you're not familiar with purslane or summer spinach (both pictured here); I wasn't until this summer. Purslane is delicious raw or cooked (lightly steaming brings out the tartness).

The mysterious "summer spinach" may be malobar spinach but I'm not really sure. It doesn't look like any pictures I've found, but, whatever it is, it's delicious, especially raw.

Monday, July 18, 2011

100+ degrees...

For more than two weeks we have had 100+ temps and it's killing the garden. We've been working but there hasn't been any food.

But the squash and melons are looking good and we are hoping for a bountiful harvest in early September.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

CSA haul #20

Oh my! We finally got the carrots out of the ground and our share alone had 121 carrots! I see carrot soup, lots of juices, and salad on our plate in the near future. Plus, the first batches of tomatoes are starting to come. We will soon be overrun with tomatoes, a problem I would love to have.

Our share this week:
3 colors of carrots, 11 tomatoes (3 are huge!), and lamb's quarter.

Today on the farm, I helped some other work share members pull up all these carrots. Over 100 pounds! It was a lot more work than I thought pulling carrots would be. In the cartoons, it looks so easy.

Guy spent the whole time cutting down lamb's quarter and getting it prepped for the shares. Also a big job and he didn't have any help!

Plus, we got a little special addition to our share.
Farmer Marie knows we love to make raw sauerkraut and she had a whole row of cabbages that weren't really suitable for putting in the shares.

Basically we got the last ditch effort that these cabbages could make after they'd been harvested earlier. She was going to compost them but thought of us first.

Guy has started them fermenting, so we'll see in a week or two if they are suitable for kraut.

Next week, my mom will be visiting from Missouri and she's going to join us out on the farm! Fun, fun!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

CSA haul #19

This week at the farm we mulched rows to prepare them for melons, pumpkins, and squash, as well as doing a little weeding of the tomato plants. I love weeding, especially tomatoes because the smell of tomato plants makes my heart sing!

Anyway, we got a pretty small haul this time but every single item is a favorite of mine, so I'm happy. We got 1 lb of tomatoes, 1 lb of yellow squash, 1/2 lb of cucumber, and 1 lb of peaches. We had another peach but it didn't make it home for the picture. :grin: The peaches, cucumber, and squash are all from Larken Farms, but Farmer Marie splurged and bought them for us because our farm's been so slow to produce.

This week was also market day, so we bought a pound of organic Fair Trade coffee from Fresh Life. They started coming out to market day last time, but we didn't need coffee. I'm so excited to have a Bold cup of coffee tomorrow morning!
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Friday, June 10, 2011

CSA hauls #17 and 18

Our last post saw the last of the winter hauls and I thought we were going to have a couple weeks off. We were gone over Memorial Day weekend and there was no pick-up for shares.

Last weekend we went to do our work share, pulling turnips out of the ground for two hours, but figured we would have no share again.
We got blueberries and squash from our friendly neighbor farmer John, plus 2 lbs of onions and 1 lb of garlic.

Summer is here!

This week we kicked dirt around looking for any potatoes left behind after Marie had turned the soil. We found quite a few.
It was really fun, like a treasure hunt or an archaeology expedition! Plus we came home with 5 lbs of potatoes and 1 more lb of onions. Good gracious, we have a lot of onions!

And just because we're so special, Marie sent us home with this beauty of a tomato,
a "mortgage lifter".

They're just starting to ripen so there aren't enough for everyone. There are definitely perks to being a work share!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

CSA haul #16

This is the last haul of the cold season. It looks a lot like last weeks, which is great because we really enjoyed it.

Above: 2 red cabbage "heads", snow peas, braising greens (mostly turnip and chard), and 5 onions with greens!

Below: Spring salad mix, a lot of lamb's quarter (Guy loves that stuff!), and "green" garlic
I'm excited to try the garlic. We received garlic greens earlier this year, but these are our first heads. They are pretty small, so they should be mild, but hopefully tasty.

Today at the farm was a lot of fun. We harvested onions and snow peas and cabbage with a fellow work-sharer. It was really laid back and the weather was beautiful!

Tomorrow is the annual CSA member potluck at the farm. We'll be bringing mashed potatoes made with our onions and garlic from the farm.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

CSA haul #15

From top left, anticlockwise: cabbage, several small onions, snow peas, braising greens, radishes with greens, and a lettuce mix

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This is quite a haul!

We also had a good time working really hard on the farm with other work shares, harvesting onions and mulching between rows. What a workout!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

CSA haul #14

Guy had a stilts gig this weekend and I had a lot of work to do so we missed our work share. I did drop by and pick up our haul though.

From top left, anticlockwise: salad greens, 5 small onions with greens; snow peas; braising greens including turnip, kale, and chard.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Project: Food Budget: Week 8

Budget: 70$
Actual Spent: 74$

  • Tomatoes
  • Bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Habaneros
  • ginger
  • turkey deli meat
  • chicken breasts
  • bread
  • Brianna's honey mustard dressing
  • Jell-o
  • a couple frozen meals
  • a frozen pizza
  • Chipotle burrito (split between us for our special "eat out" day)
  • wine
Another week when moms and friends fed us pretty often. Yay! One of our friends made us the most delicious short ribs with a celeriac-potato puree. I'm still salivating from that meal. Yum.

CSA: Salads are a staple at our home. More salads!

Meals eaten:

We basically ate sandwiches, salads, and frozen meals all week, except when our friends or family fed us amazingly delicious food.
What we learned:

Over the past two months of watching our budget, I've noticed how lazy Guy and I have been about meal planning and our food choices. Even though it may look as though our eating has gotten much worse, we have actually learned a lot. We've learned about how we deal with stress, what our other options are, how saving money and eating healthy can go together but don't always. We've learned more about who were are as people and even learned something about the families we grew up in.

Although this will be my last Project: Food Budget entry, all this learning will not go to waste. I'm taking away from this several lessons and a homework assignment. Over the next month, each week I'm going to try to take a favorite food or recipe of ours and make it healthier, cheaper, and easier. We are lazy people and food needs to be easy for us, but I also want it to be nutritious and affordable.

For more details on Project: Food Budget, click here.
Participating blogs:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CSA haul #13

Lucky number 13.

This week there was not an official weekly share this week because it was Earth day and Marie was busy. The lettuce and greens also needed a week to rest if we want a share next week. But Marie allowed any of the members to come out and cut a little greens if they wanted some.

Since we were out there working (smishing caterpillars and weeding tomatoes), we grabbed some lettuce mix and a ridiculous amount of lamb's quarter, which was way overgrown.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Project: Food Budget: Week 7

Budget: 70$
Actual Spent: 113.43$

  • bananas
  • red pepper
  • green cabbage
  • red onion
  • jalapenos
  • limes
  • pineapple
  • guacamole
  • rolls
  • bread
  • burrito-sized tortillas
  • frozen stuffed peppers
  • riblets and mashed potato meal
  • brisket and mashed potato meal
  • frozen sausage rigatoni
  • Domino's pizza
  • koolaid
Obviously this week was not our best week. Not only did we spend way over thanks to eating out, but we also went back to eating premade food from the grocery store.

CSA: The salad mix, turnip greens, and garlic greens have made for delicious salads all week.

Meals eaten:
  • Peanut butter & honey sammies
  • Steakum sammies (with homemade sauerkraut)
  • BBQ burritos
  • Fajita burritos
  • Frozen stuffed peppers
  • Frozen sausage rigatoni
  • Domino's pizza
What we learned:
  1. Eating out unexpectedly is not good for our budget. We have decided to schedule one dining out experience each week to allow ourselves the luxury. We will try to make it a real restaurant and not fast food (and not always pizza) and we will try to split a meal instead of each getting one.
  2. Buying frozen pre-made food is practically the same as eating out. I want to get back to eating healthy home-cooked meals. I need to come back to the fundamentals of meal planning.
For more details on Project: Food Budget, click here.
Participating blogs:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CSA haul #12

This week we were all told we could come by the farm for a small share. Several of the plants (lettuce in particular) needed to rest and regrow.

Our haul included lettuce mix that was heavy on the arugula and lamb's quarter, turnip greens, lavender, and garlic greens.

We hadn't finished our lettuce or garlic greens from last week yet though so we still have plenty of veg for this week. So far, we've been consuming all of this raw as salads, even the turnip and garlic greens. It's very good.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Project: Food Budget: Week 6

Budget: 70$
Actual Spent: 50$

  • Cabbage (red and green)
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Sub bread
  • Mac n cheese
  • Ground turkey
  • Steak'ums
  • Tuna
  • Sparkling water
  • Fried okra
  • Frozen pizza and breadsticks
  • Whataburger
Between an awesome friend who made us food (and sent us home with leftovers) and our overabundance from last week, we didn't have to buy many groceries this week and most of what we did buy was unexpected "comfort food" during some stressful moments this week.

CSA: We braised the chard and ate it as a side dish, ate tons of salads with the lettuce mix and garlic greens, made two batches of Brussels sprout green casserole, and used the lavender for tea and lemonade.

Meals eaten:
  • Brussels sprout greens casserole, recipe to come.
  • Broiled tilapia parmesan with wild rice and chard
  • Mac n cheese n tuna n peas and fried okra
  • Dallas cheesesteaks: Steakums, onions and bell peppers, and provolone on a sub roll
  • Lennyburgers and sweet potato fries: a chef friend of ours wowed us with his amazing poblano burgers with aioli

What we learned:
  1. We have awesome friends. Not only did we have some fun parties this week with amazing food, we also had several friends help rescue us and our car when it died on the side of the freeway.
  2. That being said, we had an extremely stressful week with the car and deadlines. This lead to us choosing to eat our comfort foods: burgers, mac n cheese, and pizza. There are better ways to deal with stress. We're working on them.
  3. Organization saves money. I bought brown rice this week because I couldn't find any in our pantry. Then later in the week I was cleaning out our cupboard and found a full unopened bag of brown rice.
For more details on Project: Food Budget, click here.
Participating blogs:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

CSA haul #11

This week we had a pretty large haul.

In this first picture (left top, anticlockwise), we have brussel sprout greens (leftovers from last week, but we were so happy to get more!), lamb's quarters, garlic greens (also leftovers from last week), and arugula.

In the second picture, we have our salad greens (with kale, spinach, and endive), lavender buds, and chard.

Guy and I had a wonderful time out on the farm. CSA pick-up days are a lot of fun because we get to interact with the other members, who we don't see as often as the other workshares. I hope we get to know them better at the potluck in May!

Friday, April 8, 2011

We made the news... sort of.

Ok, so Eden's Organic Farm and CSA made the news, but we were in the pictures!

Unfortunately, only people with Dallas Morning News subscriptions can see the full article.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Project: Food Budget: Week 5

Budget: 70$
Actual Spent: 107.13$

  • Orange bell pepper
  • Red bell pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Portabella mushrooms
  • Cremini mushrooms
  • Crookneck squash
  • Turnips
  • Sweet potato
  • Green cabbage
  • Red cabbage
  • Jalapeno
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Pineapple
  • 100-calorie guacamole packs
  • Special K with berries
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Corn tortillas
  • Rolls for hamburgers
  • Tilapia
  • Ground beef
  • Beer
  • Little Caesar's pizza
  • Whataburger (one combo between us)
  • Schlotzsky's (split a regular Turkey Original)
Oh, man! That's a long list. We definitely overspent this week. At least, we came back to vegetables this week. We had several veg sammies that were absolutely packed with raw or lightly cooked veg.

CSA: Here's what we got this week. The green mix became salads. We braised the chard and added it to shrimp pasta. The brussel sprout greens are about to become "unrolled cabbage rolls". The (amazing) onions have been added to sauerkraut, sandwiches, and eaten raw as a snack. Those babies have some bite!

Meals eaten:
  • Spaghetti with marinara and lots of veg
  • Stuffed portabella burgers with turnip and sweet potato fries: Make small burger patties, place them to fill the inside of the portabella cap. Pan fry until done (use the lid to steam them). Serve with melted provolone on a fancy roll with dijon, mayo, lettuce, and red onion.
  • Baja fish and shrimp tacos (our favorite party food!)
  • Parmesan-crusted veg sammies: from How It All Vegan
  • Shrimp, asparagus, and chard with farfalle

What we learned:
  1. Beer is delicious but there's not room for it in our budget very often. (There's not really room for it at our waistlines either.)
  2. Having friends over for dinner doesn't have to be costly. We could have done better with that this week.
  3. Burger-stuffed portabella burgers are delicious. I'm sure someone's thought of it before but for me it was a revelation. This meal will happen again soon.
  4. More veggies and more meal planning. We spend way more if we aren't well-prepared.
For more details on Project: Food Budget, click here.
Participating blogs:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Up and coming blog posts

Guy has been working his magic in the kitchen lately. He's working on a batch of mead that should be ready in May, as well as a few other alcoholic beverages that we've been testing along the way. Yesterday he started three batches of sauerkraut from a friend's instructions. We should be enjoying those before long.

We're also hoping to get a batch of kombucha started in the next couple of weeks.

Neither of us have either made any of these things before, so we're having a great time experimenting and waiting to see what happens.

Tutorials (and results) of both of these experiments are in the works!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

CSA haul #10

Our CSA haul is the top row (from left): mixed greens (lettuce, endive, spinach, etc); two red onions; Brussels sprout greens; chard.
Below that, our market day purchases: Eden's Organic Farm honey (from the bees on the farm!) and (what's left of) a roasted green pepper focaccia from Bedford Bakery.

Most of the focaccia didn't even make it home! Delicious! (And well-earned after 3 hours of harvesting and weeding!)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Project: Food Budget: Week 4

Budget: 70$
Actual Spent: 128$

  • Pork roast
  • Shrimp
  • Steak
  • Fage Yogurt (a splurge for us!)
  • Diced tomatoes and tomato paste
  • Sauerkraut
  • Ranch dressing
  • Frank's Hot Sauce (a necessity)
  • Jam
  • Cornbread mix
  • Muffins mix
  • Tea (2 kinds)
  • Pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggs from the farm!
  • A pizza from Domino's
  • 2 delicious meals from Raising Cane's
We were out of several staples and had a little money from last week, so we didn't worry too much about sticking strictly to the budget this week. We had a few splurges (like farm eggs and Fage yogurt).

CSA: Here's my post about this week's CSA experience. The kale went into the white bean soup. The beets, beet greens, and lettuce made salads. The turnips became amazing turnip fries and not-so-amazing pork loin sides. The chard and other greens became side dishes and snacks.

Meals eaten:
What we learned:
  1. We can eat delicious food (like muffins, pasta, and pizza) and still lose weight. Hello, portion control!
  2. Vegetables are our favorite! But our meal plan doesn't necessarily reflect that. I should work on more meatless meals.
  3. Eating out kills budgets! We've got to be more careful about giving in to dining out, even when we do have a little extra money.
For more details on Project: Food Budget, click here.

Participating blogs: