Late Summer Farm Share offers corn and fruit a plenty
Late Summer Farm Share offers corn and fruit a plenty this year. I love fruit, so I’m not complaining about the variety or volume of it. Farm fresh fruit is nothing like what we get in the stores. If you haven’t tried fresh-picked fruit, I highly suggest you make it a fall project. We also received more corn this year than I remember in previous years. It was super sweet and delicious.
Week 10, in the first week of August, brought us our first carrots, which excited me because I’ve missed them. Carrots are a staple in our household, but I’ve avoided buying veggies not currently available fresh from our Ohio farms this year. That means we’ve been without carrots for at least a month or more. This week’s share is one of my favorites because of everything in it except the cabbage. My parents took that because I didn’t want to turn the oven on to roast it and that’s basically how I prefer it. I think mom made coleslaw, which was very good!
Week 11 brought my other favorite — green beans. I could get those every week and be happy. It’s one of the veggies I buy whenever possible, then I’m promptly disappointed because I want the fresh green bean taste. I like them stir-fried with zucchini, as well as cooked with ham. They’re usually cooked first because I can hardly wait for them. The watermelon was so sweet this year. We love the small ones that are easy to store.
Week 12 brought loads of tomatoes and squash which isn’t surprising for the third week of August. But, this year our tomatoes were extremely slow in ripening. We’re getting inundated into the middle of September, which is welcome but unexpected. I never got a chance to roast them so they will be missing from the freezer this winter. So sad!
Week 13 pleased us with zucchini, yellow wax beans, and pasta. I love making a stir-fry of onions, zucchini, garlic and beans to go over pasta that has been sprinkled with some cheese. The corn is getting to be a bit much at this point since we’re getting it weekly through September. I keep forgetting to freeze it, so several ears have been lost because Mr. Carnivore can’t eat that much corn even though he’d love to. We also enjoyed the squash and beans on the grill while camping.
Week 14 forced us to give away our hot peppers, something none of the four of us can tolerate. Mom stuffed the green peppers and shared them with us one night. That was a fun treat. Food always tastes better when someone else cooks it! The little romas were past their prime when we got them, so I think I threw most of them away, unfortunately. We traveled so much this summer without a refrigerator that it was tough using up the veggies in a timely manner.
Week 15 blessed us with sweet seedless grapes in the beginning of September. They’re so good, but I find the skins bitter and tough so we end up sucking out the middles. It’s a messy affair. 🙂 Loved getting the potatoes and eggs. Those are both easy dinners for me. Plus, we love the small potatoes on the grill when camping.
Week 16 enchanted us with cauliflower and pears in the middle of September. We switched out a couple items to make it easier for the four of us to split the share. I probably should have put us on vacation, because our refrigerators are overflowing. We’ll do that in a couple weeks. Even if we “can” pick up our share, we schedule a vacation to catch up. Sometimes I hate doing that because I miss something good, but it’s necessary so we don’t throw any of it out.
I think what I learned most this summer is that I like simple food. Fancy recipes with too many ingredients are not my thing. Hours of prep for one meal isn’t possible with our wayward schedule. I want wholesome, flavorful food with the least amount of effort. If you’re not living a plant-based diet then you might not understand this as well. We haven’t been using many prepared foods so everything we make is from scratch. When our refrigerator broke in our camper, we learned to eat plant-based while using an ice chest for refrigeration. That wasn’t as easy as it sounds.
I resorted to making a balsamic salad dressing in a small plastic tub that could easily be shaken and small enough to be stored in the ice chest. Not able to bring our favorite salad dressing, one of the few prepared products we use, because it was too big for the ice chest. We bought fruits and vegetables that didn’t need refrigerated so we could set them in a basket on the counter. Shopping more frequently and eating out where there were salad bars was my solution.
I recently discovered Whole Foods Market 365, the newest store in our area. I’ve found a few prepared frozen items that are organic, without additives, to add to our meals. Mr. Carnivore is still a meat-eater, even though he likes to eat a plant-based diet as two-thirds of his plate. This is tricky for food prep, so I’ve made a few roasts and frozen the extra. This way I can pull out a small amount of cooked meat for him to add to the plant-based items that I’m fixing for myself. It’s the easiest way to stay focused on being vegetarian when living with a carnivore. 365 has a hot bar and salad bar that helps vary the portions with our share.
I’ve found that I prefer fresh prepared at home over eating in restaurants. It’s rare to find anything appetizing that’s truly vegetarian. I’ve discovered Middle Eastern food as one way to do that, Falafel being a new favorite. I love a Greek salad and I can find that at most restaurants. I’ve had to become inventive when eating out, sometimes requesting all side dishes as a meal. I wish more restaurants would offer a side dish combination as a meal to help vegetarians who don’t want fried appetizers as an option.
All in all, the summer share with Fresh Fork Market was very satisfying and only sometimes overwhelming, mainly when we were traveling without refrigeration.
What kind of food adventures did you have this summer?