One of the reasons I love having a CSA-aside from eating seasonal food that’s grown locally and helping family farmers- is the opportunity to try new fruits and veggies. Many weeks I find things in my box that I’ve never heard of, or haven’t tasted. Continue reading Prickly Pear Limeade
Spring is here, which means it’s time to sign-up for a CSA! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and when you sign-up to become a member of one you are paying your local farmer for a share of the farm. It is the best of all worlds. Your money goes straight to the people growing your food, you eat locally grown and in-season foods, and you’ll eat tons more vegetables than you ever thought possible! It usually works something like this: You pay upfront for the whole season so the farmer has the money he needs to grow your food. Then once a week you’ll either go out to the farm to pick up your “share,” or you’ll pick it up at a designated drop-off location in your city. Week after week we are amazed at the bountiful veggies in our share, and we look forward to using new recipes and getting creative with some things we’ve never even heard of! It really adds variety to your meals, and takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping. Ever had one of those moments when you’re standing in the produce section of the supermarket thinking, “I know we need to eat more vegetables, but what should I buy?” Never again. Visiting the farm is a great field trip for city dwellers, and I believe it’s really important to teach our children where their food comes from. In fact, studies show that when children are involved in the process of growing vegetables, they eat more!
Feeding a baby Goat on our recent visit to Green Gate Farms
There’s something special about being able to thank the people who plant, care for, and harvest the food you put in your body. This is in stark contrast to conventionally grown supermarket food that has been flown in from thousands of miles away and been touched by countless hands and machinery. Also, when you break down the cost of everything you receive in your box each week, you’ll discover that belonging to a CSA is less expensive than shopping at the store.
We just picked up our CSA share, and here’s what was in our box:
Radishes, Turnips, or Rutabaga
Bok Choy or Broccoli
Mustard Greens or Spinach
Cabbage or Brussels Sprouts
A smattering of potatoes
Seasonal, local, organic fruits and veggies, grown 5 miles from our home. Go local- join a CSA! Check out Local Harvest for more info.
Eat organically grown food for the health of your baby! Here is an article about the presence of hazardous chemicals, including pesticides, present in umbilical cord blood. The low level of exposure to toxins in utero is linked to birth defects, developmental disorders and chronic diseases. Join a CSA, shop the farmer’s market, and vote with your dollar by buying organic food.
I am so surprised by some of the flavors and tastes my baby likes. Raw turnips? Have you ever tried them? Hummus with tons of raw garlic? Straight tahini? I marvel when he opens his mouth for more. The key now is to try to continue with this exploratory mode he’s in and not fall into a rut of “easy” things to serve. Peeling a banana is so much easier than steaming or sauteeing fresh fruits and veggies, but I don’t want to miss this “excited about flavors and new foods” window so I’m trying to think beyond my idea of normal too. I would have never thought to eat a turnip raw, or a turnip at all for that matter. But since a farmer at last weekend’s market handed my husband a raw turnip, my son quickly opened his mouth for a taste. He loved it, so steamed turnips are on the menu this week! The average American eats 4 different types of vegetables and I don’t even want to tell you that two of them are potatoes and tomatoes- yes, you guessed it, fries and ketchup. There are hundreds of different types and varieties in the world so we need to expand our vegetable repertoire. Continue reading Don’t Underestimate What Your Baby Will Eat!