I sucked down a kale smoothie in the car last Saturday morning, on my way to the farm to pick up my second box of veggies. I felt like I was cramming for a test. I was determined that we’d eat as much of the first box of our CSA (community supported agriculture) share as possible before picking up another, but we fell kind of short.
We’re hardly salad newbies, but I admit, my family and I could certainly stand to eat a little more roughage and a little less “pirate booty.” Know what I mean? Learning how to incorporate and keep up with the variety and generous volume of beautiful and fragrant produce (Thai basil, anyone?) that a CSA share affords (way cheaper than buying each veggie a la carte, people) may be a challenge at first, but I’m ripe for the task.
Indeed, as I pulled into the driveway at Rustic Road Farm in Elburn I asked Holly if I had any kale bits between my teeth. She just rolled her eyes. I may be hopeless, but I’m trying.
“You’re making me eat my veggies,” I said to Luis Bernard, when we checked in at the farm stand in the barn.
“That’s what we want!” said Bernard, co-owner of the farm.
I’ll say. There’s stuff in these boxes I’ve never seen before, that I barely know what to do with – it’s like a treasure-hunt and Christmas Day all at once – but Bernard and his partner and co-owner, executive chef Marc Bernard haven’t left me stranded.
I bought a share (a 10-week membership or subscription) two weeks ago, and along with a haul of seasonal vegetables, each week they also furnish me with recipes, which serve as helpful clues about what to do with it all.
If I can’t figure out what something is (pathetic, right?), I just consult the approximate harvest schedule they provided when I first signed up, and, by process of elimination, I can usually sort it out. But there’s an easier way!
Note to self: this week, ask what things are before I leave with the box. Duh. It’s a steep learning curve, but I’ll get the hang of it – and so will my family.
In the meantime, I’d better start sharing some of the bounty with my neighbors. If you want to sample some of Rustic Road’s GMO and pesticide-free fare (they proudly report on their Facebook page that “you’ll never see a chemical or drug on this farm”), but don’t feel like indulging in the short drive out to Brundige Road in Elburn on Saturdays (the farm stand is open seasonally from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., when you and your kids can also buy healthy, farm-fresh eggs and meats and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the 5-acre farm to visit the chickens, pigs, and goats – including “Rusty,” who seems to appreciate a good scratch between his horns), check out their yummy produce at Batavia’s Farmers’ Market (on Saturdays). Look them up today, in fact, when you stop by the seventh annual “Green Fair on the Fox” in Batavia.
The Green Fair (formerly known as the “Green Walk”), slated to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Batavia Riverwalk, indoor at City Hall and at the Farmer’s Market on River Street, reportedly is bigger than ever before and will include all sorts of interesting vendors of wholesome and natural goods, services and activities.
Before I hit that, though, we’re heading back out to the farm to get our next box of goodies. I hear there’s GMO-free corn in the offing, this week. Music to my ears!
• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at email@example.com.