Summer is here, summer is almost over and summer has been a bountiful time for an abundance of flowers and veggies a gardener’s season to see their labor of love all come together. With the distractions of my favorite season, summer; I realized I needed to send out those two blogs I promised. So I thought it would be fun to share with you one of my happy, happy joy places “The Farm” it’s second to the beach for me on my take me away from reality places and warms my heart every single time!
This summer I was asked specifically by Farmer Dan to work the CSA at Coverdale Farm, this invitation I’m sure was given because he knows the joy this place brings me when I’m here throughout the year teaching others about the farm in many ways from leading programs on the farm such as :Farm Life, Farm to You, Yoga on the Farm, hikes and holding special and private cooking events. This place keeps me busy in a good way! But, back to the CSA and why I thought it would be great to share on our garden blog; I have never in all my life been inundated with soooo many vegetables, when I return home my family is just like WOW more vegetables, its been discussed that we now need a full size refrigerator to just house the harvest that comes thru the doors in my arms, bags and baskets LOL It’s Veggie Palooza over here for sure- giggling.
So what is CSA you might ask, it’s an acronym that stands for Community Supported Agriculture many farms in our area have CSA programs. The local farms grow an abundance of food to share in the community, the community in turn pays a fee and buys a share into the farm; either in the form of a half share or full share. This allows families to get the best fresh produce from May to October and the opportunity to try traditional and unusual vegetables and fruits.
Which by the way has been my new lesson on the farm to all that visit, is that what we think are vegetables are really fruits and in the culinary world they are really called botanical fruits not vegetables! A true vegetable is that which is a root, leaf or stem (potatoes, carrots, rhubarb, onions, etc…) anything else especially if it has seeds is a fruit; so yes tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, corn (yes corn), and string beans to name a few are fruits not veggies people, LOL. Fruits are the ovaries of a flowering plant that develops after its seeds are fertilized or in some cases not fertilized. And don’t challenge me by saying broccoli and cauliflower are fruits because they are not, they are actually undeveloped flower buds that never opened so they are vegetables. And if you really want to get technical bananas and grapes are berries since they come from a single ovary with multiple seeds, and while we are in this debate, let’s go there and know that strawberries are NOT a fruit ( I know this is crazy, too funny) but they are really fruit parts called a fleshy receptacle, just a few things I have researched and learned by teaching on a farm part time, LOL.
Bottom line if you are not eating local fresh food please at the end of this blog, gather your peeps (slang for people aka your family) get in the car and go for a nice summer drive and pick up some fruits, veggies, berries or whatever you thought it was until I just made you scratch your head and question all produce, and enjoy God’s natural blessings to us, they are true healers of our bodies, safer than commercialized produce and they makes us get to know the wonderful people who grow our food with love and a purpose. They do this, to do good by us all when it comes to wholesome delicious “old school” food. And if you are growing your own food that’s even better, for the first time this year I grew tomatoes (that actually produced fruit:) with some help from Farmer Dan, even in my mostly shady garden. Let’s just say; I did a dance when I harvested my own tomatoes and put them in a meal for my family, it was a good day indeed!!
As the summer comes to an end and I go to play in the sun for vacation and to celebrate a summer birthday, I hope this end of the summer blog finds you happy, healthy and surrounded by those you love amidst the heat and humidity, sticky sweet fingers of something frozen dripping to cool your soul, sandy toes, dancing in the rain (whenever it comes, LOL) looking at a summer sunset on or near the water or just out your back door, enjoy what’s left of this precious season and till next time when the world is a little cooler grab some local produce, visit a farm and be a true gardener and ingest your harvest!!! Peace to you all.