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Posts Tagged ‘CSA’

Tuesday is CSA pick-up day. Kind of like Christmas and a vegetable mystery rolled into one. ‘Cuz we get some unusual stuff in our box, and lots of it!

Today for example, we got black radishes. Ok, a radish. I know what to do with that. Put it in salad, eat it raw, slice and eat on buttered bread.

But we got three of them and they’re the size of large oranges. Any one of these big guys alone would be enough to exhaust my radish recipe repertoire (put it in salad, eat it raw, slice and eat on buttered bread).  Add them to the two pretty sizable ones we got last week and I am stumped.

Giant black radishes

Giant black radishes

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Roasted root vegies and Brussels sprouts

So, I tried roasting them along with the other root vegetables and Brussels sprouts we got today. OH were those Brussels sprouts yummy! I used this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa and could not stop eating them hot out of the oven. Crispy, salty, sweet, heaven. And the roasted parsnips, carrots and celery root – yummy. The radish…not so much.

In desperation I turned to the internet to find dozens of hits for “black radish recipe” that all began with, “What is this mystery vegetable and what can I do with it?” Or something along those lines. This site has information about the black radish and a list of recipes. I will start with the black radish and potato salad. If you go the site with the recipe, read the comments, too, for more suggestions on what to do with them.

Next up – the bag of mystery greens labelled “salad greens to cook.”

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Kompot

I’ve written about Kompot before – it’s a local CSA I belong to. If you’re looking for a CSA in Prague, definitely check them out.

One day when I was over at the Kompot garden, I met a young woman who is doing her master’s thesis on CSAs using Kompot as a case study. As part of her research she did a survey and follow-up interviews with some respondents. My interview was last week, and it was really interesting. We talked about food and why it is important to me to be in a CSA. At the end of the interview she asked, “Are you a food activist?”

“Yes,” I answered without hesitation. Not that I ever thought of calling myself that before, but something inside of me said, “Yes! That is what I am.” So, what does it mean?!

I guess at a basic level it means trying to do something to make the food and food systems better. And in my own small way, I think I do that. I try to use my consumer powers for good, buying local seasonal food as much as possible, joining a CSA. I grow some of my own food. I forage some of my own food. I teach my kids and students about food issues. This blog is also part of it, I guess, bringing the joys of all this food awareness to at least a few others!

Kohlrabi

As yummy as it is funny-looking!

As yummy as it is funny-looking!

Just a memory really…When I was growing up we had a babysitter who lived with her family a couple of doors down from us. And they grew kohlrabis. No one else we knew ever even heard of them, but this family did and grew lots of them.

And now I live in kohlrabi country and realize that family must have been Slavic.

What, you don’t know what a kohlrabi is? Never tasted one? They are yummy and easy to grow. I highly recommend them, if you can find them! They still seem somewhat unknown where I come from.

Koledovani

Today is Easter Monday and the girls have just come back from (kind of) traditional Czech koledovani. I say “kind of” because traditionally only boys did it, but now girls do it, too. And while I am mostly in favor of folk traditions as way to preserve the wisdom of our elders, this one sort of befuddles me.

You see, the tradition is that young men weave a “pomlazka,” basically a whip, from young willow branches. They then go about the village and hit (yes, hit) women with it while singing a little rhyme. The women then give them eggs, treats and shots of homemade plum brandy. It’s supposed to make the women more fertile, but I must confess seems pretty barbaric to me.

My girls don’t actually whip anyone when they do it, but they go door to door and sing the little rhyme and get candy and eggs. Hordes of children all over the village do the same. It’s like Halloween without the costumes, but with actual horrific violence. Ok, they don’t actually beat people up, but I tell you that little willow whip stings! You can read more about Czech Easter traditions here.

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Happy Easter!

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What an exciting day at our local CSA, Kompot. I wrote about them before and am very excited by how successful this first year is. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to get my money’s worth from joining. They had no track record and the land had not been farmed in this way before. But look what we got today:

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And potatoes, carrots, summer savory, garlic, onions and (thankfully!) the last of the savoy cabbage.

But even if we weren’t getting so much veg, they are doing great work, building community, preserving the rural landscape and character of our villages and so much more.  Check out their website. Better yet, if you are local, sign up for the veggie box, visit the garden and come on out and join in the fun! This Saturday is a work party and I am sure you will meet interesting people and have some great food.

Tonight’s menu from the box

carrot soup

salad with kohlrabi, cucumber and lettuce

swiss chard sautéed with garlic and then mixed with ricotta cheese

beans and savory

gooseberry coffee cake (our gooseberries!)

 

 

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Kompot – in English!

A few days ago I wrote about a local CSA and shared their leaflet though it was in Czech. Today they sent me an English version! Wanna join?

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“Komunitou podporované zemědělstvi”

Of course!

I am so excited that I have found a local CSA that is open for new subscribers. And when I say local, I mean local. It’s in the next village over from ours. I can ride there on my bike in about 10 minutes (though how to transport the veggie box home on my bike is a bit of a challenge).

Here is their web site: http://www.kom-pot.cz/. It’s in Czech but I am sure Google translator will do a good job for you!

They call themselves Kompot, from the Czech for community and food, but kompot is also the word for compote (see how easy Czech is?!). They are hoping to use some family land to produce basic veggies for about 40 members. The price will come out to about 250Kc per week for a box of veggies during the season, about 20 weeks. That works out to about US$12.50 per week.

They also write on their website about building community, supporting local farming and open spaces, functioning as a co-operative with a voice for all members. It really sounds wonderful and I am hopeful that it will be successful.

The next event there is Pumpkin Day on 29 September. Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

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