May 26, 2011

Lancaster Farm Fresh: Reader Photo and Pickled Baby Turnips

My friend, L., made a stir-fry with the broccoli, mushrooms, and asparagus we received with our share from week 2.  It's a riff off of mapo tofu, with ground beef and... without tofu.  She said the asaparagus was some of the best she's ever had.

And for the folks who are interested,  here's a photo of the pickled baby turnips that I made.

If you're interested in the kind of pickle press I used, here's a version sold by Amazon.  It's simply a plastic container that has a spring-loaded press incorporated into the lid.  I think it's rather pricey, and if you can get someone to bring one back for you from Japan, that's probably the better way to go.  You can also get the same effect by putting weight on your salted vegetables using a brick or a can sitting on top of a plate.

May 24, 2011

Lancaster Farm Fresh: Week 2

Well, I have to say, week 2 blew week 1 out of the water.  Our first haul ended up only being enough for about 2 dishes worth of food, and though the vegetables were delish, it was a little disappointing.  It had us thinking that we may have to supplement the CSA with other vegetables.  However, week 2 came in with guns blazing.  We probably doubled the amount we received the first week.

And so, without further ado, allow me to present our share list.

Full share

1 Bag Blue Oyster Mushrooms from T.O.G.
1 Bunch Baby Hakurei Turnips from Autumn Blend Organics
1 Bunch Green Kale from Autumn Blend Organics
1 Bunch Asparagus from Farmdale Organics or Coyote Run Organics
1 Bag Broccoli from Plum Hill Organics
1 Head Red Leaf Lettuce from Railroad Organics
1 Bunch White Scallions from Sunrise Ridge Organics
1 Bag Watercress from Elm Tree Organics
1 Head Bok Choy from Hillside Organics
1 Bunch Thyme from Noble Herbs

Note: This week, we swapped the gigantic bag of thyme that came in our box for another head of bok choy.  The one head we had would have been difficult to split and I already have dried thyme in my cupboard so I didn't see a need to dry some more.  I also didn't store anything according the instructions Lancaster sent, and somehow, they're still ok.  Fresh picked makes a difference!

May 10, 2011

Lancaster Farm Fresh: Reader Photo!

My friend who is splitting Lancaster's full share with me has graciously agreed to also photo-document her CSA experience along with me.  This is great because she is a far better photographer than I am, so you're going to be treated to some real pro shots of the dishes she makes, versus my grainy, sad-looking photos.

For her first dish, she made a stir-fry of asparagus, mushroom, radish, and spinach in a chili sauce.  Her verdict?  Delicioso!

Lancaster Farm Fresh: Week 1

Up until now, this blog has been sorely lacking in pictures, but fear not!  The tedium of my words is about to end, and entertainment in the form of images is here!  Unfortunately, I have a simple point-n-shoot so the pictures are only okay, but I'll still be providing my running commentary in order to give you the best possible comprehensive review.

So without further ado, allow me to present the share list.

Full Share

1 Bunch White Scallions from Friends Road Organics
1 Bunch French Breakfast Radishes from Outback Farm
1 Bunch Asparagus from Farmdale Organics
1 Bunch Chives from Noble Herbs
1 Bag Spinach from Autumn Blend Organics
1 Bunch Rhubarb from Country View Produce
1 Package Portabella Caps from Mother Earth Organics
1 Bunch Romaine Lettuce (farm unknown)

Note:  The e-mail originally listed 1 Head Radicchio from Autumn Blend Organics, but when we opened the box, there was a small (seriously small) head of what looked like romaine lettuce.  It was so tiny, it wouldn't have made a plate of side salad for one person.  It was actually a little perplexing.  Luckily, Lancanster provides a swap box, and you are allowed to pick out a different vegetable provided you put your rejected vegetable in for someone else to stare at how tiny it is.  Anyway, we swapped it for a nice large bag of watercress, so it worked out.

May 4, 2011

Lancaster Farm Fresh: The Big Day is Here!

I received an e-mail this weekend finally announcing our first pick-up day (today).  The e-mail included the address for the drop-up location and the time window for us to go get our boxes.  Helpfully included with the e-mail is a link to Lancaster's member handbook, which includes a lot of useful information about what to expect when you receive your box and other guidelines for a smooth pick-up process. 

Overall, I've been really pleased with the level of communication from Lancaster.  They don't e-mail too often to be annoying, but always make a lot of information available to their customers in a timely manner, so you're never left wondering what's happening.  If I had a negative thing to say, I would that they're not completely ready for the summer season, as the page for their Vegetable Field Guide is still under construction and lacks any useful information. 

However, they are aware of this, and in their second e-mail this week, they included instructions on how to store the vegetables we would be receiving.  The second e-mail I received this week is of a type I will be receiving every week in advance of my box drop-off.  Lancaster calls it the shopping list, and it includes a list of the vegetables I will be receiving that week, which is great for someone like me, who likes to know things in advance so I can think about a meal plan.  I like to ruminate on menus, so the more advance notice I get, the better.  It also helps in that it allows to consider whether or not you'll need to supplement the CSA offerings.  

There is no complaint about getting this shopping list only a few days ahead of receiving the box itself.  This is because the vegetables are harvest shortly before they are delivered, so it only makes sense that Lancaster would only be able to provide the shopping list in a small time frame, when they know for sure what they'll be picking and what they'll have available for their customers.

I'm unspeakably excited for this first drop-off!  I'll be posting pictures and a list of what I received soon, and hopefully, also a post about some of dishes made with the vegetables.  Can't wait!