Friday, April 30, 2010

Small and Large Box Comparison

In case you did not get a chance to stop by on 22 April to see the sample small box, Alison took some photos of the small and large boxes side by side for comparison.  The smaller box is on the left and is about 2/3 as tall as the regular large box.

That week, the small box contained:
  • 5 oranges
  • 2 avocadoes
  • 3 mandarin (tangerines)
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1 head of Boston lettuce
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of cabbage
The large box contained everything in the small box PLUS:
  • 1 bunch of Maui onions
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard
  • additional oranges (8 total)
  • additional mandarns (9-10 total)
In summary, the small boxes cost 2/3 as much as the large boxes ($20/$30), and contain about 2/3 of the produce.  Pick the size that works for you.  We will offer both.

Email me to get the May/June order form that includes both sizes.  The deadline for orders for the 6 May delivery has been extended to 8 AM on Monday 3 May 2010.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Come by to See the Small Box

Tanaka Farms (TF) is now offering a smaller box option. They will continue to offer the familiar large box for $30 ($25/$5 TF/PTA split); the smaller box will be $20 ($18/$2 TF/PTA split).

The smaller boxes will contain produce staples. The larger boxes will contain staples plus specialty veggies. People who like to be surprised by unusual and heirloom varieties of produce may want to continue getting the larger boxes every other week.

But, we want to know if some of you will order more often if the smaller box option was offered.

TF is delivering a sample small box April 22. Come by Neighborhood Grinds that afternoon, Earth Day, April 22, to check out and compare the contents of the large and small boxes. (But please be gentle with the contents of my personal large box.)

Leave a comment and let me know if you would like our CSA program to offer a choice of box sizes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In this week's Lincoln box...

CSA Box, 3/8/10

Some of the beautiful contents from this week's box as delivered to Lincoln school. We got a lot of small, juicy, easy-to-peel citrus, and more avocados and strawberries, and green cauliflower and cilantro. There were also several kinds of greens, a box of snap peas, and apples and carrots.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kale and White Bean Soup

Alternatively, you can use the greens in a soup. 

Our family loves this Kale and White Bean Soup recipe.  We use carrots and greens from the CSA box, home-made chicken broth, cook dry beans in a rice cooker and chicken & cheese sausages from  Costco.  It's way more economical than the Whole Foods version and incredibly tasty.

We cook about 2-3 times the amount of beans required for this recipe at a time.  We store the excess beans in the freezer (after they have cooled to room temperature).  A few nights before we want to make this recipe again, we move the beans and chicken broth from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw. 

This is very energy efficient.  A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one.  Every time you open the freezer, you let out cold air and replace it with warm air.  A full freezer will have less air exchange.

When you thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator, your refrigerator becomes an icebox! You recapture the energy used to freeze the food. 

Southern Greens

I've fielded a few inquiries about what to do with the kale and Swiss chard. Here is a delightfully simple and delicious way to prepare them. You can use both the stems and the leaves.

Wash and chop the greens (kale, Swiss chard, beet green tops) into 1" long pieces
Chop the stems into 3/4" pieces and keep those separately
  1. (Opt) Saute 2 strips of bacon, cut into 3/4" pieces, or bits of ham in olive oil over medium-high heat
  2. Add a chopped onion and (opt) smashed garlic cloves, saute until translucent
  3. Add 1-2 (washed, peeled) carrots, diced into 1/2" pieces, saute a couple of minutes
  4. Add the chopped stems and saute a couple of more minutes
  5. Add the chopped greens, stir, turn down the heat and cover for 5 minutes
  6. Add 1/4 Cup milk and stir, leaving lid off
  7. Let the milk evaporate until the sauce is thickened (1-2 minutes)
  8. Serve over rice
This has a sweet and savory flavor. You can make it vegetarian with vegetable stock instead of bacon/ham and milk. Try throwing in some nuts for protein.

Smaller Size Boxes

Tanaka Farms has introduced smaller sized boxes for smaller families.  They will cost $20 ($18 to TF, $2 to the PTA).  We've been getting the larger boxes ($25/$5 split).  The smaller boxes will contain produce staples.  The larger boxes will contain everything in the little boxes, plus specialty produce (Kohrabi anyone?).

In order to gauge interest, Tanaka Farms will deliver a sample small box with our regular delivery on April 22, 2010.  Come by Neighborhood Grinds on Earth Day, April 22, to check out the boxes.  If there is enough interest, I can accept orders for the smaller boxes starting in May.