Hi readers! Suzanne here, ready for some CSA adventures as part of this brand new blog I’m writing along with my Cityline.ca colleague Suzie Gardner. Here’s how it came about: Suzie and I, both amateur cooks wanting to make healthy and tasty meals at home, discovered via a conversation at work one day that we’d both recently signed up for community-shared agriculture (CSA) boxes. Neither of us had done it before, but the appeal of cooking and eating local produce year-round drew us, independently, to the idea. Realizing we were both trying this for the first time, we thought, ‘Hey, we should write about it!’ Hence, CSA Diaries was born.
Each week, Suzie and I will tell you all about what was in our boxes, and share our recipes with you (The ones that turned out well, that is. We’ll talk about our failures too, especially if we think there’s a good lesson or cooking tip in there. We don’t want you to make the same mistakes we do!).
I’ll tell you right now why I think this will be a good experiment for me. I’m a recipe girl, through and through. My ever-expanding cookbook collection borders on the ridiculous, and I admit, I like the comfort of knowing that if I follow the steps as directed, I should end up with something delicious. This is the baker in me coming out – baking is all about precision, while cooking allows for much more creativity. So, I’m embracing my creative side fully in this endeavour, and hoping that the results aren’t too disastrous.
I’ve signed up for a weekly box from Cookstown, Ont.-based Highmark Farms – my go-to veggie vendor at the Leslieville Farmers’ Market. My first pick-up isn’t until November 3 (the week after the market closes for the season), so until then I’ll be blogging about what I’m making with the produce I find there each week.
Pumpkin? Rutabaga? Parsnips? Bring it on – my kitchen and I are ready!
Hi all — Suzie here! As I write this, I am super anxious and excited…because I’ll be picking up my very first CSA box right after work tonight! Woohoo! My husband and I have signed up for a bi-weekly fruit & veggie box from Fresh City Farms, and we’re stoked to start receiving their local, organic produce — most of which is grown by Toronto’s urban farmers! Over the past couple of years, I’ve become more and more interested in locally-grown food: I regularly visit my local farmers’ markets (shout out to the Sorauren Farmers’ Market and the Liberty Village Farmers’ Market!) and I’m a new member of my local co-op, the West End Food Co-Op. So for me, signing up for a CSA box was the next logical step in my quest to eat local more!
Even though I love to cook, I’m pretty boring in what ingredients I use. I find that I rarely buy fruits and veggies outside of my comfort zone, so I’m really excited to try cooking with new ingredients…but I’m also a bit nervous. What if there’s a vegetable in my box that I’ve never even seen before? With a name that I can’t pronounce? What will I do with it? I can’t wait to break out of my box and discover new favourite recipes, and hopefully some new favourite foods, too!
Stay tuned to the CSA Diaries later this week to find out what’s in my very first box, and what I’ll be making with it all!
We want to hear from you, too! Tell us all about what you’re doing with seasonal produce, and we might feature your suggestions and/or recipes on the blog. Or, if you tried one of our recipes, let us know what you thought!
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