Almost done with Vegetarian Pilot – Winter Farm Share Week 14
We’re almost done with our Vegetarian Pilot – Winter Farm Share with Fresh Fork Market in Week 14. Only one more week to go! Then we’ll rest for a couple weeks and get ready for Summer 2016 Farm Share to begin the first week of June. Woo hoo! It has been a blast belonging to a Farm Share for an entire year.
Looking back, I can’t believe we made it. Almost a whole year of tracking our shares received and how we used it. All on this blog to be easily referenced later. Just keeping up with a farm share takes organizational skills, but cataloging with photos and words each pick-up-date has been an experience. What I really like about this is that I now have a way to reference what’s available locally in Northeast Ohio by month, so I can easily plan my spending. Prices are always better on items when they’re available fresh locally.
It’s also a real sense of accomplishment. When I came up with this idea over a year ago, even before this blog website was designed, I never imagined I’d make it through an entire year of posting about food! I also didn’t think I’d like it as much as I do. I’ve found that I absolutely love taking photos of produce and food being prepared and served. Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure!
I also know how much to buy or grow to freeze for winter use, even if we’re not in a winter farm share next year. I think the Vegetarian Pilot is a great program, especially if you’d like some prepared food made with local produce to lessen your prep time. I enjoyed it immensely. But I’m not sure it’s something I’d continue on my own if my parents weren’t sharing it with us. I think that’s because I’m also a vegetable gardener, so I put up vegetables for us to use from the Summer Farm Share and our garden. I also bought extra to make sure we had enough for winter. I think switching to the Omnivore plan for the winter might suit us better because we’d also get meat. If we were strict Vegetarians, then the Vegetarian Pilot would much better suit us in the winter.
Week 14 our small Vegetarian Pilot farm share included (featured photo at the top of this post is full vegetarian share)…
Spinach – large bunch
Grape Cider – 1 quart
Tomato Sauce – 1 quart
Frozen Blueberries – 1 pint
Frozen Corn – 1 pint
Back 40 Stack Pie
Flat Rock Cheese
Organic Corn Meal – 2 lbs
Eggs – 1 dozen
My half of the Vegetarian Pilot small share Week 13 (above photo) and what’s left since Wednesday, April 20…
Spinach – 1/2 large bunch
Grape Cider – 1/2 quart
Tomato Sauce – 1/2 quart
Frozen Blueberries – 1/2 pint
Frozen Corn – 1/2 pint
Back 40 Stack Pie – we’ll share this one evening when we play cards
Flat Rock Cheese
Organic Corn Meal – 1 lb
Eggs – 1 dozen – I gave these to my parents and I took the tomato sauce since I have plenty of eggs
There was a mix-up with the prepared Back 40 Stack Pie in this week’s share. Ours was labeled Vegetarian but we’re not sure if it is and that doesn’t matter to us. Luckily, they caught it early and emailed everyone, but we don’t mind if ours has meat in it or not, so we kept it. It will be something we’ll fix for the four of us some night and it will be a mystery pie, with or without meat. 🙂
We did have some losses during Winter Share. I lost a bunch of turnips from week 10. They got buried in the back of my vegetable drawer in a baggie and it was too moist so they got moldy. I just found them this week. I tossed the huge turnip from the last share date because I couldn’t get to it quick enough and there was no room in my refrigerator for it. I had to toss some Acorn Squashes because I was concerned that they were too old. I could have been wrong, but better safe than sorry. I lost some apples in the refrigerator and on the counter. Mostly because I just wasn’t paying attention.
Of course, this wasn’t a normal winter for us. When I fell in January and sprained my knee, which also included a bone contusion, I wasn’t mobile for almost two months, then in physical therapy until last week. I walked with a cane from January until March. When I got a sinus infection, that took me down hard as I was already struggling. I had every good intention of getting everything prepped into the freezer if we couldn’t eat it now, but my days were short based on pain levels and energy.
Last week I dumped several other items that just weren’t looking good from the refrigerator. I didn’t keep track of what I tossed because I also cleaned out the pantry, tossing out-of-date items that were beyond what’s recommended on the Eat By Date website, as well as several other sources that I use based on the item. It was time to see what was buried in every food storage area, including the freezers. I have two freezers (5 cubic feet freestanding and the one at the bottom of the refrigerator), plus, I also had some things in my parents’ freezer. There weren’t many, if any losses from the freezers because I check and sort those regularly.
I’ve been adamant the last few weeks about using up what’s in the freezers and the refrigerator by making several one pot meals. I’ll be at this for a while, to make sure we have room to stockpile from the garden and farm share this summer. That has actually been fun because we found several prepared meals we could defrost and heat up without much work. Yesterday we had leftover frozen pot roast. YUM.
I also roasted two Butternut Squash and I have an upcoming blog post about how to store it, cut it and roast it. Plus, lots of pretty pictures.
One interesting thing I noticed is that this is the FIRST YEAR OF MY ADULT LIFE that I didn’t buy frozen vegetables monthly. I know I bought some peas because that was one vegetable I didn’t grow and we didn’t get any in our farm share. I must have peas in my Chicken Noodle Casserole, but that’s the only frozen vegetable I bought. I take that back, I might have bought some frozen seasoned black bean/corn mix that I like to throw in soups, as well as some Lima beans, which I didn’t get in the farm share. I also didn’t buy canned vegetables except for a few beans to have on hand for my ZESTY SALSA BEAN SALAD recipe. We get plenty of dried beans in our farm share, so I’ll be freezing those in the future. I had to make room in the freezers to get started on that.
I am ready for that three week break in May to get ready for summer share starting in June. That weekly summer schedule is a lot harder to organize than the bi-weekly schedule of winter share. Summer is also harder because there are more tender vegetables that have to be used quickly, versus the many root vegetables and frozen vegetables of winter share.
Overall, it has been an exciting year of trying new things and developing new habits for a healthier lifestyle. I can’t wait to see what happens this year!
Watch for the last post on the Vegetarian Pilot Winter Farm Share program in May…