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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Adventures in Agriculture

I just joined a local CSA called Chow locally.  A CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is a alternative to buying produce at the market.  Chow locally has a few Phoenix area farmers who come together to make boxes of fresh, in season fruit and vegetables to purchase each week.  We pay ahead so they only harvest the produce needed, no extra waste.

This was timely for us because we recently watched the documentary Dive on netflix.  It was a fascinating film about food waste in America.  It focused on grocery stores that throw away perfectly (or almost perfectly) good meats, produce and dairy.  Especially Trader Joe's.  I was so affected by the waste that I asked my local Trader Joe's what they do with their about-to-expire foods.  I was happy to hear that in the Phoenix area they donate to St Mary's Food Bank.  

The week after we watched Dive a friend told me about Chow Locally, perfect timing!  They have many pick up locations in the valley, but none up by me.  They're working on making one in my area which will make it even more convenient.  Fortunately my friend offered to pick up my box for me this morning.

We are working on eating lots of vegetables in our house, but I have to admit that I am not completely sure what all of these are!  I have also not cooked with some of them including the bok choy.  Another friend suggested sauteing with garlic so I'm going to try that tonight.

Can anyone tell me what the purple and green leafy veggie is?  I think I may need to google that one.  We'll be eating lots of greens this week. ;)  The box has mixed greens, chard, unidentified purple green veggie and spinach.  Also red potatoes, carrots, oranges, bok choy and turnips (I think, they're huge though).  I am going to have to google or pinterest some recipes to cook these.  Please feel free to add any suggestions for me!

ETA: I found a lovely photo guide in my box that says what each veggie is (and has a link for recipes).  I learned that what I thought were turnips were in fact rutabaga (tastes like a potato they say).  Also that the mystery veggie is a purple kohlrabi.  Never heard of that but it says the bulb is like a potato and the leaves work in salads. I'll keep you posted.  My last surprise is that the oranges are in fact blood oranges, a favorite around here!  


  1. This looks wonderful! There are varieties of chard and kale that have purple spines. What a blessing such a box would be to a family in need.

  2. Hmm, chard or kale? I'll have to investigate further. Thanks for the suggestion.