Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Farm fresh summer in the city.

My husband Gregory and I are obsessed with 3 things: beer, Lola (our havanese) and food.

Since Greg and I are from California we both grew up having access to the freshest fruits and veggies around. While my favorite grocery store, Fairway, here in NYC, has amazing produce, there is nothing like getting a head of lettuce straight from the field still slightly caked with dirt from the farm.

With that in mind, this summer we decided to try something new. We got involved with a small farm share for the summer months. We are currently enrolled with Corbin Hill Farms. They specialize in getting fresh produce to low-income areas. There are different sizes of farm boxes that you can chose from depending on the size of your family. The medium share runs about $12.00 and you can choose to donate a few extra dollars a week to the farm to help subsidize boxes for families who can't afford the full price. Greg and I opted to pay $15/week. The pick-up location is only one block away at a school in our neighborhood of Harlem.

Other advantages to using a local farm share are that it supports local growers and helps cut down on the use of fossil fuels. The less distance your fresh produce has to travel to get to you, the better it is for the environment.

Since our box comes every Tuesday Greg and I decided that from now on Tuesday would be known as "Iron Chef Tuesdays". We get the secret ingredients from the box, than we go get a protein and a special beer from Fairway to pair with our food from the share.

Yesterday was our first box. We got the following:

3 large potatoes

4 small apples

1 cucumber

1 bundle of Garlic Scapes (the top green portions of the garlic plant, harvested early in order to allow the garlic plant to focus more effort on growing the bulb)

2 small yellow squash

1 very large turnip

2 Candy Onions

1 bush of Kale

After much debate and discussion we decided that our first meal would be a sauté of organic Australian steak marinated in soy sauce with garlic scapes and elephant garlic. We also made baked mashed potatoes with butter, sour cream and finely chopped garlic scapes and sautéed yellow squash with a few heirloom tomatoes and finely chopped scapes.

We paired the entire dinner with a couple bottles of the deliciously hoppy and floral Race 5 IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Company in Healdsburg, CA.

Overall the meal came out great and I am excited to use the rest of my vegetables later this week.

I think I will be making some kale chips tonight when I get home!!

Happy Summer!

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