This spring, I'm planning on signing up for a CSA farm share and sharing the journey with all of you! For those of you who don't know, CSA stands for 'community supported agriculture.' It's an agreement between you and a local farmer that you'll give them some money at the beginning of the season, and they will share the produce they grow throughout that year (generally via a weekly delivery to a central pick-up location). It's a lot of fun, each basket/bin/box is a culinary adventure with the freshest produce you can get. I'm looking forward to showing what I receive in my CSA, how I prepare the produce, and maybe even some photos and details about the farm it comes from!
Here's the thing, if you're considering joining a CSA too, those farmers need your money now! In fact, some of them may have already sold all their shares for the season. They use the down payments to buy farm equipment, seeds, etc., and they plan their fields based on how many people they will need to feed.
According to my research, there are a number of CSA offerings in the North Bay area, including (in alphabetical order):
Dalew Farms (www.dalewfarms.ca)
Field Good Farms (www.fieldgoodfarms.ca)
Holden's Hideaway Farm (www.holdenfarm.net)
Midlothian Valley Farm (www.gypsywholefoodswarehouse.com)
Northern Harvest (http://northernharvest.info)
Sandhill Crane Farm (492-2192)
Souter Highlands Farm (info through Ontario CSA Directory)
Last but not least, here's a great map from Transition Town North Bay showing lots of local food offerings (including CSA)
I had a busy morning (and a relatively empty fridge), so I used a package of roasted potatoes, onions, zucchini, red peppers and eggplant from the freezer (pictured below), and added half of an avocado.
I cut up a green Ontario cabbage into large chunks and cooked it in a bit of water at a medium-high heat (just enough water to stop the cabbage from burning, but not enough so that I had to throw any water away once the cabbage was cooked). Then I added Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce.
My friend Maxine made this absolutely delicious meal for me. I was surprised by how rich and flavourful the noodles tasted! They were made from whole zucchinis using a device that creates spirals out of vegetables (picture below), and then served raw with the warm sauce on top. I'm not going to mention any specific products, but if you google some combination of 'vegetable' and 'spiral' you'll be sure to find plenty of information!
In regards to the sauce, Maxine says "I roasted fennel, carrots, artichoke hearts, onions, garlic, and tomato. Once roasted, I combined them with one can of organic tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. I put the mixture in the crockpot and let it simmer on low with seasonings until dinner time."
"The amounts of pure oats should be limited to 20-25 grams/day (65 ml - or 1/4 cup dry rolled oats) for children and 50 -70 grams/day (125 to 175 ml - or ½ to ¾ cup dry rolled oats) for adults, as recommended by the Canadian Celiac Association."