Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekly Local Booty - Farmer's Market and First CSA Share - May 16, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekly Local Booty - Farmer's Market and First CSA Share - May 16, 2009

The weather in Mid-Missouri has been typically unstable for the past few days - oh, and of course the rain just keeps 'a comin'. Yesterday it was in the 80s and really humid. We spent the evening getting flash floods in our parking lot and this morning it was in the 50s on my way to market. And windy, though that is something I am just going to have to get used to. Needless to say, even with Missouri's moody weather patterns, my trip to the farmer's market this morning was a resounding success, though I missed having Brett with me. He is taking his finals today (on a Saturday, doesn't that suck?), so I was on my own, but I managed all right. I've got a bit of a shoulder cramp after carrying it all home, but I survived. We also got our first CSA share this week!

I think he will be excited to come home to the beautiful local dinner I have planned. It will also be our "One Local Summer" entry for the week - nothing special, but super tasty and almost all local - pesto pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlicky roasted asparagus, and a simple local salad. The only things in the meal that will not be local is the olive oil in the pesto and some of the ingredients in the dressing - though the dressing is locally made.

Anyway, enough of my incessant yammering check out our grub!

Here is our first CSA of the year:

Starting from the bottom right: fresh oregano, two bunches of asparagus (Danjo Farms has the best asparagus we have ever had), spring onions, fresh salad greens, and radishes.

Here is the weekly farmer's market haul. This cost around $80. More than I usually spend at market by a long shot, but I wanted to get tomato starts and we needed to stock up on some of the more expensive things we get like honey.

Starting from the bottom right: 2 bunches of spring onions, a bunch of garlic chives, 2 cucumbers, 4 big 'ol tomatoes, 1/2 lb. oyster mushrooms (I love this new purveyor, I will have to make sure to note the name of the stand next weekend, they have the best oyster mushrooms we've ever had. We got some over the winter from the Root Cellar, but they don't hold a candle to these.), 2 bunches of baby garlic, a dozen eggs, 2 bunches of sweet basil, asparagus, Moneymaker tomato starts, Country Goodies hot chow chow, Tigerella tomato starts, strawberries (!!!!!), Bonne Femme Honey Farms alfalfa honey, Thai basil, cilantro, and spinach.

Whew! What a list! We have a lot of good grub to work with this week. I was already planning the menu on my walk home from market. I love getting whatever is freshest and figuring out how to make it shine from there.

We got some really awesome things this week, and a lot of them, so I thought I would photograph individually some of my favorite finds of the week.

This has to be one of the most gorgeous bunches of oyster mushrooms I have ever seen.

Strawberries! I got to market pretty early this morning - it opens at 8:00 and I got there a little after 8:30 and this was the last container of strawberries the purveyor had, and the one other purveyor with strawberries had two or three containers left. The broccoli had already been cleaned out!

Thai basil! I haven't quite decided what I am going to do with all of this yet, but I have wanted to try it for a couple of years and I have saved a bunch of recipes that call for it in hopes that I would eventually find it. I had no idea it was as pretty as it is.

Four Tigerella tomato starts. We got these from Danjo Farms - the farm we get our CSA through. Dan sells all sorts of varieties of open pollinated heirloom tomatoes; it was really hard to choose. We've had a bit of trouble with our tomato starts from seed this year - they are growing, but not as quickly as we had hoped they would, so we wanted to get a few mature tomato plants so that we will have solid production. We hope our tomato seedlings continue to grow; we can't wait to put them in the ground.

Four Moneymaker tomato starts - these should be good slicers which is one of our favorite ways to have tomatoes, raw with just a bit of salt. I don't even want to venture a guess as to how many pounds of tomatoes we ate like that last year.

So these are eight of our who knows how many tomato plants. We are hoping to have about a dozen or more tomato plants and half a dozen tomatillo plants, if they will ever grow that is.

A week or so ago, I transplanted all our pepper starts into containers on the porch. As of right now, we have about 20 pepper plants, and I imagine a few will make their way into the fold before all is said and done. We have a planter box of acorn squash on the porch, chard, spinach, kale, and basil will also be staying on the porch, and we have some beans, squash, cukes, peas, and tomato starts waiting to go in the community garden.

I don't know if anyone remembers the cayenne plant we had started from seed late last fall, but it survived and managed to thrive in our apartment and it has one full sized pepper on it already, two baby ones, and tons of blooms. We transplanted it into the container we had our broccoli in last year and hope it will get HUGE.

Anyway, if it ever decides to stay dry for more than a day around here, we can get down to the community garden and get to work. It is starting to look like we may have to just have to get stuff in rain or shine. Ugh.

Have a great weekend everyone!

'Til next time.


Heather @ SGF said...

Everything looks great! We have 13 tomato plants in and there are 'maters all over the place. We're just waiting for them to ripen. Not long to go...

I love that you do everything in container gardens. It just goes to show that you don't need a lot of space to go local!

Anonymous said...

Wow--jackpot on the asparagus! It all looks delicious and those strawberries are gorgeous!

Good luck with your sounds like you will have a good year with your peppers :o)


Catherine said...

I am SO jealous of your strawberries!!!

My favorite way to enjoy thai basil is in spring rolls -- vast quantities of spring rolls. :) Yummers.

selina said...

Strawberries!! I am so jealous! I think we still got a good 2 weeks before we see any around here! BUT... that means we still have lots of Asparagus!

And seriously... stop showing me those stupid tomatoes. :o)

Anonymous said...

YEY for the first CSA share! I got some asparagus at the farmers' market yesterday and am itching to dive in and have a first taste of the season today. But oh, those strawberries! So tempting. Can't find them locally around here yet, but soon I hope. Your plants look very healthy, I bet they will give a great yield this year.

SusanB said...

We got strawberries for the first time this year at the farmer's market ... super yummy. It's our third week of market asparagus, suffering from somekind of probably passing mania, I bought 6 bunches to pickle them . . . either that or we will be eating asparagus three times a day. Also beautiful just picked beets. And kirby cucumber plants for the garden.
Meanwhile here at home our own bullseye beets and radishes are peeking up out of the dirt. And I think I'm going to be giving away seedling basils and tomatoes -- although I'm a bit behind, they're small.
I find this time of year very exciting.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Happy cooking with all those great veggies! We planted Thai basil this year, but Scout decided to nibble on it so I hope it does okay.

DP Nguyen said...

I've never heard of Moneymaker tomato plants, but I can't to see what it looks like when you get some tomatoes. Yum!

jessy said...

it was raining like mad here about 2 weeks ago, Jennifer – we didn’t think it would ever stop! spring weather can be so wonky! i’m sorry you missed Brett, but that’s cool that you did a-okay on your own! (i miss dan when he’s not around, too – it’s the silence in the evenings that really gets to me.) your one local summer dinner sounds awesome! mmmmmmmmmmmmm! hooray for more asparagus! i found some at the farmer’s market this weekend, too! totally picked some up as well! the tomatoes are so pretty, and those mushrooms are just too cute! oooh, chives – i need to find some! i’d love to make a chive bread soon! mmmmmm! strawberries, tomato starters, and all those herbs – wow, wow, WOW! what a glorious haul! i can’t wait to see all the little pepper plants, and all the other little lovelies! that’s too freak’n sweet on the cayenne pepper plant! superw00t!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Heather - Thank you. As of right now, we have eight tomato plants in the community garden. We are going to have a couple on the porch here too and I imagine that a few more might make it into the community garden along with some tomatillos. I can't believe you already have fruit on your plants though - well actually you live in Texas, so I CAN believe it, I am just jealous of your longer growing season.

Aw well thanks, we have to make due with what we have, and if you really look at it, we have a lot to work with. We can do a lot of peppers on our porch! All you need is a windowsill and a bit of sun and you can begin to go local.

Courtney - I am going to enjoy the asparagus while it is around. The strawberries too!

We are hoping so, all the transplants have taken to their new container quite well and we have our tranplants and seeds in the community garden. We'll just have to hope mother nature is kind to us.

Catherine - They don't last long around here, but we enjoy them while they are here.

That is a great idea. I'll have to look for a recipe for spring rolls, I have never made them.

Selina - Our asparagus is starting to trickle out, but I am actually alright with that. We end up eating so much while it is in its short season that I start to tire after awhile.

Hehehehe, some folks around here get there things started in greenhouses and get 'em out right when the weather turns nice. Those few extra weeks of warmth really make a difference..

Just remember, we've got an extra bedroom you and Jason could stay in. ;-)

Living in a Local Zone - I way really excited. Our CSA is always amazing, I look forward to it each week.

I sure hope they do. We are going to do a better job of keeping track this year.

SusanB - Isn't it nice to get that first fruit of the year?

Hahaha, we get a bit overboard at the first fruits of the season don't we?

Beets and cukes already, yum! You are going to be having some fine meals this week!

This time of year is really exciting, things are beginning to grow and there is a lot of anticipation!

Lisa - Thanks, we've enjoyed them. Oh man, I guess Scout has good taste at least!

DP Nguyen - I hadn't either, but Dan told me they were good slicers and that was what I was in the market for. We'll see how they are!

Jessy - It was horrible. All the gardeners and farmer's around here were just waiting, and waiting, and waiting. I didn't think it would end either.

Yes, I don't do silence well either. I would always prefer Brett to be here even if we are doing our own things.

Chive bread! I bet that is super tasty! It would be good with soup and as a sandwich bread. I really need to get my butt in gear with this breadmaking business!

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