Tag Archives: produce

I heart MyFarm

I’ve mentioned before that my sister works for MyFarmSF, an awesome urban farm that installs gardens in people’s backyards, and harvests the produce for their CSA. Unlike other local CSAs, which get a lot of their produce from the Central Valley, MyFarm grows everything within SF, which I find totally amazing! I like to take the credit for my sister finding this job, since I read an article about them in Sunset magazine a year or so ago and let her know about it!

Anyway, she just dropped a big box of extra produce for me, and I’m psyched! Check it out – there’s braising greens, turnips, radishes, squash, potatoes, arugula, baby onions salad greens with edible flowers and a delicious smelling herb for tea. I can’t wait! I was out of town all weekend (for my roommate’s amazing wedding), and like always when I get back from traveling, I am craving vegetables like nothing else!

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This summer has been insanely busy for me, and last weekend marked the last one I had booked! I hope this means you’ll see many more blog updates from me in the near future – I’ve missed it! I also am thinking about a NY/Boston/VT trip, so East Coasters, stay tuned!

I forgot to add – if you’re looking for a CSA, MyFarmSF is always looking for new members! I think they’re a great and really unique organization and encourage you to check them out!

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What’s Fresh in Your Area

I’m sorry guys, I am like 12 years old, but this title totally sounds like an ad for Summer’s Eve, no? 😉

Via Twitter (thanks for the RT that caught my attention, Foodzie), I found this really cool interactive map, where you can find out what’s seasonal and fresh where you live. Apparently okra is in season in CA right now… who knew? I don’t think I’ve ever had it, with the exception of a gumbo in New Orleans. Anyway, you can search for seasonal produce by state and month – check out what’s in season now where you live!

Thanks, Epicurious – very cool!

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Peak-Season Map

PS: A guy totally asked me if I worked on a farm yesterday! I’m like, I know my jeans are torn, but really, I thought that was trendy. 😉 Turns out it was because I have a Buy Fresh, Buy Local sticker on my computer. I was like, nope, I’m just into that stuff. I have a green blog. Cue blank expression. Ha.

What’s in season where you live? What are you most looking forward to being in season?

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Eat (and Trade) Your Veggies!

A few weeks ago, I posted about Neighborhood Fruit, an awesome website that allows you to find and share the bounty of neighborhood fruit trees. This morning, I read about a similar site, Veggie Trader, which allows users to trade, buy and sell produce, herbs, nuts, seeds, etc. Unfortunately, there are not a ton of listings so far (I only found one for a trade within 20 miles of my zip code), as the site is relatively new. Hopefully people will start signing up – I definitely plan on checking back in to see what’s available down the road. You have to register, but it’s totally free to use. I really like this trend of avoiding waste and sharing with your community!

veggie trader

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Lunch in the Park

What a nice lunch break I just had! First I went to the San Mateo Farmers’ Market and got a bunch of great stuff – a red bell pepper, a yellow bell pepper, asparagus (which will apparently be in season until May, head’s up. Get it while you can!), Brussels sprouts, apples and hummus & jalapeno red pepper jelly/sauce from the Afghani food stand. The girl that works there is always so nice and generous with her samples that I feel like I have to buy something! She got me again!

Then I assembled my lunch and walked to a little park nearby to enjoy it. The weather is so great today that a walk and eating outside were totally necessary! Here’s my lunch, posing with my slightly obnoxious “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” bag (especially because it was made in China. Ironic, huh? Grr). Sliced apple (darn braces! I can’t wait until I can bite into a real apple again!). Leftover cold local broccoli. My latest yogurt obsession, Straus Vanilla with Stahlbush Farms sustainably farmed frozen fruit. Hate that it’s packaged, but it’s good in a pinch. I reused this yogurt container that I bought when I needed a starter for my homemade yogurt. An English muffin sandwich with Mendocino Hot & Sweet Mustard, the red pepper jelly/sauce from the Farmer’s market, Diestel honey turkey, avocado from my CSA, and thinly sliced local apples. Also pictured: my Sigg water bottle. Funny, their website actually is “My Sigg.” Heh.

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Lunch

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Me in my walking hat

Lunch was great, as was getting outside. I read Body & Soul while I was eating, which had TONS of great eco-friendly tips. I know, getting eco-friendly tips from a magazine is like the height of irony, but I’ve drastically cut back on my magazine subscriptions recently, and always make sure to hand them off to friends, and make them promise to pass them along once they are done!

Speaking of magazines, check out this Us Weekly (I have to – I write celeb gossip trivia for work) peeking out from under my Farmers’ Market produce. I love how it looks like Jason, the Bachelor, is very pensive about produce. Also note the Envirosax bag with a big stupid ink stain. Grr!

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Pretty Green Tip: Keep Your Carrots Fresh!

I often get a bunch of organic carrots from my CSA, or pick them up at a Farmer’s Market. The problem is, they don’t last very long! Whether I keep them in the fridge or on the counter, a day or two later they’re always shrunken and rubbery. Ewww. But I remembered that when I was a kid, my mom would put out carrots sticks in the middle of the table at meals, standing upright in a cup with an inch or two of water at the bottom. Using this as my inspiration, I’ve started peeling carrots right when I get them home, and putting them in a jar with a bit of water at the bottom. This works great – they’re fresh in the fridge for days, even weeks. If you’re planning to keep them a long time, change or add more water every once in awhile.

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My sister says you can actually just stick the whole bunch of unpeeled carrots in water. I haven’t tried that yet, and like the convenience of having peeled and trimmed carrots ready to go when I want one. But you actually don’t really need to peel carrots – sometimes I don’t (I just trim the tops!), but this batch was extra dirty!

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Daylight Savings and Dinner

I am loving the time change! Although I wasn’t too psyched this morning (why can’t they do it on a Friday night so we have time to get used to it?), it was so nice driving home from the gym at 6:30 with the sun still shining bright! As soon as I got home I decided to take a little walk down into my neighborhood to return a book to the library and a movie to our local video store (both The Prize Winner of Defiance, OH from my book club). I unfortunately have to drive to work which I plan on posting about soon, but I try to drive as little as possible when I’m in “The City.” On my walk today, I walked by a cute little corner store run by a Middle Eastern family and I decided to pop in to see if I could buy a container of their hummus. I was totally craving it earlier today, but instead of going to a chain store, I thought it would be nice to support a family-owned business. Especially in this economy, and with so many stores in my neighborhood (and probably yours, too!) going out of business, it’s great to be able to support them. I know I am extraordinarily lucky to live in such a walkable city with so many amazing local businesses, but I encourage you to try to do the same! If you can shop at a smaller mart, even if it’s a little more expensive, do so! Even if it’s just an item or two. Don’t feel like cooking? Try an inexpensive restaurant nearby – or bring your own tupperware for takeout!

I know you all know what a container of hummus looks like, but I wanted to point out that it came in plastic. I should have asked if I could bring my own container. Next time I will either try that or see if they can refill this one if I bring it back in clean. I’m not sure if they are “allowed” to do that, but maybe they will.

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Anyway, after my walk, it was dinner time! I made this yummy Salmon with Orange Pan Sauce the other night, though I adjusted down the sauce for 1 piece of salmon, and added a bunch of minced shallots, because I can’t get enough of them! I loved the sauce, so I decided I’d try it on chicken tonight. I’m not really too into measuring recipes these days, but this is approximately what I used to make sauce for one chicken breast:
1/4 cup white wine (leftover from book club)
2 garlic cloves (from my CSA)
2 pieces of shallot (from my CSA. It was super juicy when I put it in my garlic press, which made me laugh. Shallot juice?)
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
Glug of honey (local)
Shake of red pepper flakes
Couple squeezes of juice from an orange (from my CSA), and about 1/3 or so of the fruit of the orange, diced

I cooked the (organic) chicken my favorite way – heated up olive oil in a pan, salted and peppered the breast and seared it about 2 minutes on each side, then threw it in a 450 degree oven for about 18 minutes. Meanwhile, I boiled/simmered the sauce until it reduced. That’s it! I served it with a small amount of leftover sweet potato, mashed up with part of one of my CSA giant red potatoes. I expected to add butter or salt but it didn’t need it at all. Plus, some steamed broc. Yum! The sauce was equally delicious on the chicken as it was on the salmon. Pictured here: tap water in a wine glass. Yeah, I’m fancy.

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Other random thoughts:

*Loving Tina’s 31-Days of Yoga Challenge! I’ve done it every day so far – either hour-long classes at the gym, Comcast On Demand programs, or free 20-minute YogaDownload podcasts

*The weather has been really nice here lately, and I went on a great 7-mile-run on Saturday, I think subconsciously inspired by Sarah, who knocked out an awesome 9.4 miles that day! I haven’t been running much outside (or, like at all) since my last half-marathon (I did one last August and one last October). I’ve been sticking to my usual gym classes and treadmill, but I figured this saves energy (no need to plug anything in) and got me outside! Win-win.

*I need to do a post about the homemade hot fudge and whipped cream and local ice cream we had last night. Amazing! There is NO need to ever buy whipped cream from a spray can or tub if you have a mixer. Nothing beats fresh whipped cream. I’m even saving what’s left to put in my coffee or chocolate almond milk this week.

*I way overuse parenthesis (but hey, I like them).

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CSA Bounty, or WHO Doesn’t Like Potatoes?

I just picked up my CSA produce for the week – check out this cornucopia!

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I got:
4 apples
4 oranges
5 FREAKING GIGANTIC red potatoes
Bunch of red beets (unpictured)
Celery
Kale

I usually get to order whatever I want, but this week I either didn’t get the email or forgot to order in time, so they gave me a selection based on my past orders and what they had available. I actually probably didn’t need the beets (got them last week and roasted them but still haven’t eaten them), but I’ll come up with something! Maybe I’ll enter the Blogger Secret Ingredient contest for the first time with some of these items, as long as I pick up some basil. Does anyone have any awesome recipes they want to share for any of these other ingredients? I won’t steal them for BSI, I swear!

Check out the cool reusable bag from my CSA, too! I alternate between that, providing my own bag (usually one from Whole Foods) and a big paper shopping bag which you can return to reuse. You can also return egg cartons which they will reuse even if they aren’t the same brand the CSA provides – pretty cool!

Seriously, how huge are those potatoes? Maybe they just look really big to me because red potatoes are usually so small.

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Funny story: My little brother, who is 6 (yes, big age difference), doesn’t like potatoes. I was on a walk with my roommate and telling her this story and I said, “I mean, WHO doesn’t like potatoes?” Her response, “um, I don’t.” It’s been a running joke between us ever since. Check out the note I left her on the counter. 🙂 It’s written on an old envelope I saved, of course!

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