A while back Albany John noticed a farm share thingy in the co-op’s flyer. After going back and forth with Raymond, one of Fox Creek Farm’s owners, he decided to try it out this year. He’s all for supporting local businesses, and I was interested in the ‘feeds two adult vegetarians for a week’ bit. I’m all for a little cost cutting, especially if I get to sample some new stuff along the way.
The total cost for the farm share was around $450. Either way, it’s supposed to break down to $22 per week, until mid September. It’s a risky thing, the farm sharing. If it’s a bad season, you’re pretty much screwed (as is the farmer) out of a lot of food, even though you paid for a share. However, if it’s a good season, then you’ll be running over to your neighbor’s house throwing snow peas and summer squash at them with reckless abandon. Price-wise, though, I think it’s a pretty good deal, especially when you look at the prices in the co-op for the same goods.
Every Tuesday we pick up a load of veggies from the Co-Op’s loading/storage area. The beginning month, it’s been a little sparse. It was mainly lettuces, field greens and other green leafy foods like kale. I really hated salad by the 3rd week, and I never thought I’d get sick of field greens! But I’ve never been one for leftovers, or even eating the same thing two days in a row.
It’s starting to pick up lately. But I’m not seeing how two vegetarians could live off of this stuff for a week. Maybe if they made a lot of soups and stir-fries, but you certainly couldn’t manage a week of just what they give you, at least not so far this season (actually, I really like my grocery shopping, so I’m hoping I won’t get surprised later in the season with a buncha veggies). You need to have other stuff. Albany John and I eat a pretty meat-free diet, and our grocery bill is pretty much the same. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing, but just know that you’re more in a gamble with the veggie production than you’re getting a guaranteed amount of something every week. We’ll probably do it again next year.
I’d say we’re at a good medium right now. We’re not throwing away food. Ok, I did toss a head of lettuce or spinach or beet greens at one point since I had shoved them in the back of the fridge and they got all gross and wet, but that was my fault. Or the fridge, since the fridge door likes to open at any given point I leave the house for more than three hours and then everything inside is all perspire-y and there’s a puddle on the floor.
Getting back on topic… Albany John and I don’t like food going to waste. There really hasn’t been anything to waste. I was hesitant at first about some of the greens, but they’re so very fresh, they’ll last for around two weeks, some of them even longer. Sometimes the greens I buy at the co-op go bad before a week, but this stuff is super-fresh and the quality is just amazing.
We’ve gotten a great range of stuff we’d also never try on our own, either from sticker shock, or just never thinking to buy it. Here’s a list of stuff we’ve gotten:
Summer Squash (about 4-5 kinds)
Mixed Field Greens
Fresh Garlic Bulbs
The kohlrabi and garlic scapes are definitely two things we never would have gotten before. They look so weird and cute! The scapes also have this light garlic essence, but none of the bite. They’re a bit tough, kind of like green beans.
The fresh garlic is really light as well. It hasn’t been cured, and it’s great to put in a stir-fry in place of sharp bulbs of garlic. It’s a much subtler flavor.
I’ve really been enjoying each week, wondering what we’ll be cooking up until the next Tuesday. Albany John’s been really on his toes and creative with cooking these up as well. I’m liking this big sampling of veggies – I’m not getting sick of eating one thing every night in a row. If I had to eat Swiss Chard every night in a row… oh, man, I’d throw a riot, cause I think that tastes like dirt. Albany John calls it ‘earthy’ to me, it just tastes like there’s dirt injected in the leaves. Pleh! However, we were both fighting over the snow peas.
Oh crap, or are they snap peas cause it’s the summer?