So, I’m super-duper excited today, my friends … because The Chef and I picked up our first CSA share of the season this week!
Not familiar with the CSA model? Simply put, community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a system of food distribution in which individuals purchase a “share” from a local farm (or through a vendor that works with a group of farmers and food producers) and then receive a weekly or bi-weekly selection of fruits, vegetables, and other local foodstuffs throughout the farming season.
The Chef and I are proud participants in a bi-weekly CSA offered by Mac’s Local Buys, a local business owned by my friends, Mac and Kelly.
They started their “Grocery Bag” program because “we wanted to offer folks a subscription and awesome selection of uber-local, premium products that could be taken home and made into meals. Not a complete substitute for the grocery store or farmer’s market, but a nice stop for a collection of delicious, artisan products that you might not have heard of. Small local joints and farms, caring more about product quality than product cycle.”
After picking up our first share, I can confirm that they have accomplished their goal. So, without further ado …
This week’s share included lots of leagy greens from Three Rivers Community Farm a small, chemical-free vegetable farm in Elsah, Illinois. Our bounty of leafy goodness included one head of butter lettuce, one head of red leaf lettuce, salad mix, spinach, bok choy, and bunched Russian kale. Yes, that may sound like a lot of greens, but The Chef and I already have plans for it. There will be a few salads in our future, of course, but the bok choy will be turned into kimchi (great suggestion, Mac!) and the kale will be hitting my belly in the form of crispy kale chips. Oh, we also got a beautiful bunch of radishes from Three Rivers too, which will soon be taking a plunge into a spicy brine … while I don’t like raw radishes, I adore them pickled!
Also in our share were a pound of pork meatballs and a pint of Marina’s Red Sauce from Circle B Ranch, a 90-acre natural, sustainable, and humanely-run farm in Seymour, Missouri. I’ve had the pleasure of eating the 100% heritage pork from Circle B (remember that Iron Chef competition The Chef and I won?), and I can’t wait to dive in to their meatballs! And since our share also included a pound of spaghetti from Midwest Pasta and a loaf of Bosnian “kruh” — that’s Bosnian for bread — from Basic Bakery, both located here in St. Louis, I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night. Thanks for making it easy for us, Mac!
Our share also included one dozen eggs from Cock and Bull Farm in Highland, Illinois. I’ve purchased these eggs from Mac before, and trust me when I say that they are some of the most delicious eggs I’ve ever had!
Rounding out our share were treats from Athlete Eats, a healthy meal delivery service and restaurant here in St. Louis. Athlete Eats goal is to “make healthy eating great-tasting, convenient, effortless, and tailor-made for you” … and based on what I’ve eaten from our share so far, they’re spot on. Our share came with an order of kale chips (which I quickly polished off at lunch yesterday), an order of “PB&J Balls” (healthy treats made with dates, peanut butter, & strawberry jam, which The Chef and I have already polished off too), and one quart of blackberry and black tea kombucha, which I can’t wait to polish off ASAP!
Oh, the other great thing about Mac’s Local Buys Grocery Bag program? Pick-ups are held at The Civil Life, a local microbrewery that is turning out some amazing beers … so not only do we get a grocery bag full of delicious food, we can imbibe in a pint as well … that’s a win/win in my book!
So, now that you know what we got, I’ll soon be sharing the recipes for what we did with our “Grocery Bag” goodies … stay tuned, my friends!