5/20/15

Vexing Veggies

It was so exciting to pick up my first CSA share yesterday. I've been following Working Hands Farm for about a year and a half. We signed up for a share last year, and then I canceled it the very next day because I thought we might be doing too much traveling. As it turns out, we could have probably managed a share, but whatever. If my crystal ball were a little more functional, I could plan better.

In any case, I was excited to sign up in 2015, and I've been waiting since January for the shares to begin. Farmer Brian and Farmer Jess post the most beautiful images on their Facebook page. I so enjoy watching them live their farm life. They work hard, no doubt about it, and they seem blissfully content in the life they've chosen for themselves. It's very uplifting. 

Since I've seen pictures of their farm many times, it was easy to find their place, which is about 20 minutes from where I live. Their barn is unmistakable from the road.


They are even younger and friendlier than I imagined them to be. It was a pleasure to finally meet them.

When I parked, I visited with the little goats penned up next to the parking lot. They were very sociable...looking for handouts, no doubt, but they also made themselves available for petting. 


There were lots of children running around while their moms and dads picked up their CSA shares. The farm has an "open farm" event coming up when all of the animals will be around, and we'll be able to tour the farm more completely. They have pigs, chickens, and cows, two big dogs, and Gloucester, the cat. I'm not aware of other animals, but there may be some.

The goats were nibbling at my fingers as I tried to get my camera on the other side of the fencing. I gave up on that.


Oh yes, and this guy...there's one in every crowd, isn't there?


As I was heading for home, I turned back and snapped this picture of Farmer Brian chatting with one of the children. He was very sweetly attentive to the kids. 


It was so much fun unpacking my veggies when I got home. It didn't feel overwhelming at first. I just found myself thinking about what I could do with all of this produce. It was so crisp, green, clean, and beautiful.


I sprung for one of the handmade crates to carry my veggies home. I'll take this with me each time.


Here's what was in my share yesterday.


Also, I reserved a dozen eggs per week. Aren't these pretty?


Here's the label from the carton:


"The Ladies of Chateau Poulet". Love it.

Last night, in something of a panic, I realized I will have almost no opportunity to use this week's share. We aren't eating at home tonight, and I have dinner prepared for the two nights following. Then we're leaving for the beach on Saturday. We're celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this weekend by heading to the beach. We have dinner already planned for the three nights we're there. Then, we're back Tuesday when it's time for me to pick up the 2nd share. Oy.

I spent some time on my iPad after getting in bed last night searching out recipes and things I might be able to do with my personal bountiful harvest. It's probably going to be shared with friends, neighbors, and kids, for the most part. I fell asleep and dreamed of veggies and a friend from high school. He was two years younger than me, and we didn't even know one another well, so I'm not sure how he got in there. Anyway...I dreamed of veggies and a random person from my past.

This morning I poured myself a bowl of cereal, and then poured it back into the box. I mean, what was I thinking? When I had beautiful farm fresh eggs to work with? Geez. That's no way to use up my CSA, now is it? So I cracked two eggs into a bowl...


They didn't look so different from the ones at the grocery store except those yolks were definitely perky. You know, "perky". Unlike my boobs.

And then I grabbed a handful of my CSA spinach and some olive oil. I sauteed the spinach in a pan until it was wilted, salted it with a little garlic salt, and then scrambled my eggs in with it. Then I topped it with salsa. (Everyone knows that eggs are just a vehicle for salsa, right?) And then, strawberries...just because.


It was simple and delicious. I'll be doing this on our trip to the beach, which will get me into those veggies and eggs at least a little bit. And, let me tell you: I was feeling healthy!!! No doubt, I'll be leaping tall buildings in a single bound by this afternoon.

But before I start getting all energetic, let me whine about the paper-piecing I did yesterday. I started with the small blocks, for no other reason than they were on the top of the stack. (I need seven of them.) Each one is worked in four sections. One down, 27 to go. (I'm very good at math.)


When I had the four sections finished, I sewed the sections together. I started with the two center sections and sewed the center seam. Then I added the side sections.


Can anyone see the problem with that? If you guessed it meant sewing a "Y" seam, then ding, ding, ding! You win the prize, because you are correct. (No actual prize to be awarded in this game, unless you count this enthusiastic Attaboy!) 

Yes, a "Y" seam. Doesn't that just frost your nostrils? First, paper-piecing. Then "Y" seams. It kind of makes you wonder what's next, doesn't it? World domination by cats would be my guess.


Well. I managed to negotiate the "Y" seam, and then decided to try a different strategy on the next one. For this one, I sewed the outside pieces to the center pieces first, then sewed those two sections down the middle.


Doing it that way avoided the "Y" seam, while simultaneously saving my sanity. 


Wouldn't you think the pattern might have mentioned that? As with so many things, no one consulted me.

So there they are...the first two of seven. Five to go, and then three large ones.


And that's the state of things here at the Three Cats Ranch.

I wonder if cats like vegetables?

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

works4me said...

Way to go on the paper piecing. Usually, a pattern tells you in what order to sew the parts. I'm glad you figured it out.

We were part of a CSA last year. WAAAAY too much food for the two of us, especially when we started getting into squash season - neither of us eats squash. This year, I am making weekly trips to the Farmers' Market starting tonight. Next year, another local farm has half shares so we might go that route. It's wonderful adding a local farm's produce to my own garden produce. It's a win-win for both parties.

quiltzyx said...

That is a lot of veggies! I wonder if they'll have different recipe ideas each month? I suppose you could make & freeze some nice soups if you run out of other ways to use 'em all up. I've never eaten beet tops (why do I keep thinking that they're bad for you/poisonous? I'll have to use Mr. Google.) but I love beets. And they make your pee such a pretty color too...

That is strange to have a Y seam with paper piecing. I like your way better. They SHOULD have asked you first.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Those are amazing vegies - yes, you need to re-train yourself on food picks and use those heathy items. I prefer salsa on my scrambled eggs, too. Now there is inspiration for a quilt - "The Ladies of Chateau Poulet"!! You did just what I was going to suggest with those paper pieced blocks - no need for a Yseam - who thunk that one up?

Linda said...

HI . . . . oh your Breakfast looked so GOOD! >even at noon here!
msstitcher1214@gmail.com

Diana @ Red Delicious Life said...

Wow, those veggies look amazing. I miss having a local CSA. We had one when we lived in Seattle, but there aren't many options where we now live in Orlando. And such an odd paper piece pattern to have a hidden Y seam. I would have been muttering obscenities.

Dana Gaffney said...

The CSA sounded like fun until I saw how much you got, I would have just stared at it while eating the strawberries. Sharing is good, your kids are going to enjoy this too.

Barb H said...

I share your attitude toward paper piecing but your tulip blocks are looking very fine. As for cats and veggies, mine have only eaten the leaves of houseplants!

Jacque said...

Wow! So much healthy goodness...I drooled first over the veggies, then over your modified (and improved) blocks. :)

Susan said...

Happy 40th anniversary. Definitely too much goodness for two people. And the eggs too; especially if you are getting a dozen of those a week as well. I just got a chuckle thinking you could call your place, Trey (or Dos) Gato Ranchero,

Sandra W said...

Re paper piecing and y-seams. The first thing you could have done--use a permanent colored marked and colored in some more green to make it match! I don't usually do this with piecing but it sure works well for quilting that wanders where it shouldn't. Get the markers at an art store and get a large set with lots of colors. Really though I'm glad you redid it. I've found several patterns with really dumb instructions. Just dumb really.

Dar said...

Happy Anniiversary. Love your share of produce. Wish we had something like that here. Is the cost less than buying from a farmers' market produce stand? I would need some help with how to use some of the greens. It is nice if they give you recipes or suggested uses.

Kate said...

Happy Anniversary, hope it's drier where you are then it is here so you can enjoy your time at the beach. Love your breakfast idea for using up your goodies.

gpc said...

I was so sorry when our local CSA closed and the guy went back to a day job. Even so, it was never as lovely as yours -- what a lovely resource!

Kate said...

Ha, the paper piecing project I'm doing also has a Y-seam. Which is why I've been working on it since 2011.

Brown Family said...

THere is nearly always a better way! Your breakfast looked very healthy!