End of Winter Farm Share Living
I’m always happy for winter to end, but it’s even more joyous when I know it’s the end of winter farm share living. Don’t get me wrong. I love getting a farm share, but it’s not easy to resist the temptation of fresh veggies from elsewhere. Those pretty red tomatoes that don’t taste as good as they look, call to me. Those cucumbers all shrink-wrapped nicely and ready to slice, beckon me. I dream of yellow and green squash in a stir-fry, or drool at the sight of California or Florida strawberries.
We had two pick-up dates in April and one this past week in May. Then we wait until the beginning of June to begin summer share.
In Week 13, we received homemade ketchup, which was fun. My favorite part about winter share is that we get these neatly packaged frozen veggies and fruits. I love it when they give us pints because it’s easy to split between our two families. The lettuce has been gorgeous all month and appreciated. That said, even if we were keeping the entire share, I would have to add a few things to keep the variety where we prefer it. I added some flounder and turkey burgers into this week’s menu.
In week 14, I was running from one thing to another and took the share to my parent’s house to photograph. You get a glimpse of one of the many pretty quilts my mom made. Our beds and living rooms are so blessed with cozy blankies handmade by mom. I can’t stand the thought of winter without one of her quilts to keep me toasty.
This week we were excited that it’s ramp and asparagus season. And that crazy looking thing on the left is a mushroom. I bought some extra honey and tomato sauce because I used up the last of both. Apparently, we can’t live without either of them. You’ll notice the apple craziness going on — well, I was so excited to see 3 varieties of apples for sale that I got a dozen of each. Dad and Mel each got a pile for themselves. What’s the fun of having awesome apples without sharing them? We also always buy milk, switching between 2% and whole. Both are delicious.
This final week of the winter farm share happily included more ramps and asparagus. I can’t get enough of either. We were supposed to have pizza dough but we don’t really make pizzas at home, so I begged for some spinach pasta instead. I’m thinking it will go real well with ramps and asparagus and a little Parmesan for something different.
There were gorgeous pork roasts in this week’s share so we added an extra of that and the Italian ground sausage so each family would have enough to get us through to the end of May. The corn got added to another pint for a pot luck with friends. I love sharing the awesome sweetness of corn that tastes better than anything you’ll buy in the store. A little bit of chicken stock and a dab of farm share unsalted butter and you’ve got the makings of an amazing side dish with little effort. No salt or pepper needed.
This month there wasn’t a whole lot of fancy cooking going on. I kept everything super simple due to our obsession with camping. We finally bought a camper, after looking for the right one for four years — more on that in a future post.
I did have fun experimenting with a homemade sauce with Rotini pasta for a pot luck. I’ll definitely make this one again, but I think a thicker noodle like Ziti will work better. What was special about the sauce is that I used some of the farm share Italian Sausage and some of the farm share ground beef, along with the frozen tomatoes. I had to add a few cans of diced tomatoes due to quantity for a group, but for us, I wouldn’t need as much.
It had the best flavor, so I think in the future I’ll do the same and cook a pound of the sausage and a pound of the beef, mix them, then freeze some of the cooked mix for future dinners. I can imagine this mix on tacos or in sloppy joes or pizzas. Next time, I’ll fine tune the recipe so I can share it here.
I’ll admit it. I survived most of the season without buying extra veggies, but I always bought more fruit. The last couple weeks I couldn’t resist the veggies any longer. I had to have cauliflower, big bell peppers and broccoli. It’s silly. I didn’t need any of them because I have plenty (possibly an overabundance) in the freezer. I just couldn’t resist the call of fresh, even though I know they’re not really fresh, but transported from who knows where in the world that it’s warm enough to grow these things.
We’ve become a society of going for what we want versus what we need. Spoiled, because whatever our heart desires is available in our groceries. Some of those places are so big that I seriously consider a motorized cart I can ride, versus one I push, even though I can walk without assistance. To be so warn out from shopping when I get home that I don’t want to put the stuff away. Or, worse yet, not finding room for the mega sizes of the things we bought.
I continue to remind myself to only buy what I need, but a few of those “wants” jump into my cart without my knowledge. Well, some of them actually do, when Mr. Carnivore is with me. His call comes in the form of nicely wrapped mini candy bars, soda, or diet drink mixes to put in his water. At this point in my life, just looking at the long list of ingredients in those things make me cringe. Even though I know better, a few of those processed things (like pop tarts for camping) land in our cart.
As I think about this winter and how we fared living on a farm share, I’d say we did better than previous years, but there’s still room for improvement. Going out to eat is probably one of our biggest challenges. That usually happens when we’ve been running all day and I’m just too tired to mess with dinner. We’re a work in progress, and the good news about that is that there is plenty of room for improvement.
Summer share starts in June, so I’ll see you then with some creative ideas on how to live on a farm share. If you’d like to join us, run to Fresh Fork Market and sign up!
We’ll be pushing harder than ever to live on it because our favorite family-owned small grocery closed permanently last month. It’s no longer an easy walk to get what our heart desires. Worse yet, the temptations are so much greater in big stores, so I’m trying to avoid them all together. Wish me luck!
What’s for dinner at your house?