Monthly Archives: June 2012

Casey Farm CSA, Week One

Ah, that day has finally arrived. Our first Casey Farm CSA pick up was this afternoon. The farm is pretty close to Steve’s work, so he does the pick ups. I did them for like half of our share last year, so I know what he’s experiencing.

Our farm does not use a box method, but rather has a share barn where every thing is laid out, labeled, and the amount allowed is clearly written above. Some things, like greens, are abundant and are “per basket,” meaning the sign might say “Arugula, 3 baskets,” and the farm provides the basket. Other things are per bunch, or mixed veggies might be “take 3lbs of what you want.” This time of year, they have tons of seedlings left over from the plant sale, so the first week or so might even include a few of those.

The share barn also sells local milk, eggs, cheese, ice cream, bread, granola, and even flowers. It’s one stop local shopping, really.

We get an emailed newsletter every Sunday, updating us on the farm’s goings-on, PYO (pick your own) crops and times, work share options, and most importantly, what to expect that week in the share barn! This way, I can begin to loosely plan menus for the week. Really, I never know what we’ve got until Steve walks through the door.

This week’s haul:

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It was a pretty good showing for week one, surely thanks to the balmy winter and spring. It barely fit in one frame, so:

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and

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In no particular order, we have:
• sunflower sprouts
• spinach and arugula mix
• mixed field greens
• romaine
• bok choy
• garlic scapes
• radishes
• green garlic
• strawberries

And not seen here, four seedlings each of purple cherokee heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Looks like I’ll need more pots!

This is one of the one billion reasons why I love my husband: he knows what I hate to eat and/or cook, and he won’t bring it home (here’s looking at you, kohlrabi!). And on the flip side, he tries to bring home what I love to cook and/or eat (radishes!).

Looking forward to eating all of this up! I’ve got to use up some Trader Joe’s bagged spinach first, but I foresee many a salad in our future. Which is good; I gotta lay off pretty much everything else!

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I Feel Like Chicken Tonight

Remember those commercials, with people doing a chicken dance and clucking on about how they wanted chicken….tonight? It was for some canned chickenish convenience dinner, I think. Gosh, the nineties had some great commercials. Like the McDonald’s “Arches” commercials?! The. Best.

Anyway. I felt like chicken tonight. Except that my lovely Pat’s Pastured chicken was frozen, so really, I had to decide on Saturday night that I’d feel like chicken tonight. So. I have clearly had roast whole chicken on the brain for a while. And nothing tops a simple roasted whole chicken, flavored simply with lemon, garlic (in this house, enough to kill Dracula), salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, and olive oil. I’ll probably end up throwing some picpoul de pinet in the bottom of the roasting dish to keep things juicy and frenchish.

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Man, this blog features a lot of raw meat. Meh, I’m obviously ok with that.

To accompany le chicken, roasted teeny tiny fingerlings flavored with shallots, lemon, smoked sea salt, pepper, and oregano from out back.

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My favorite method for tossing things like salad or veggies in sone sort of dressing or marinade…admittedly not green. Meh. Ok. Hey, at least I’m eating vegetables, right?

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I’ll probably pair it all with some salad. Heck, maybe I’ll even reuse the plastic bag from the potatoes. I really only ever dress salad with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper anyway.

….. fast forward to after dinner is cooked:

The chicken:

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The potatoes:

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The salad:

(dude, it was boring lettuce mix from the store. No pic).

All together now!

(…yeah, we ate before I remembered. Oops).

But, Aggie loved the chicken! She got to nosh on the little juicy bits from around the back bone.

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It was delicious: moist, lemony, chickeny. We ate out on the patio while Aggie licked an ice cube. This is the life, folks.

My rundown is sorta sad, I’ll admit. The chicken was from our Pat’s Pastured meat CSA, and the oregano is from my backyard. Everything else is probably from Trader Joe’s. Hopefully this list will grow soon. Our Casey Farm CSA starts tomorrow!

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Roots before…? Roots before…?

How does that song go? Flowers? Branches? I don’t know. I know it’s about taking baby steps with goals, or some such business.

For us, you’ll remember that we inherited a project (or a thousand) when it came to the yard. And with baby steps, it’s coming along.

I’ve been meaning to plant some herbs, tomatoes, something for the pots on the front steps, and some potted succulents for the house. With baby steps, we’ve done that.

Like three weeks ago, we visited the annual plant sale at Casey Farm and came away with our herbs. Reused from our balcony herb garden at our apartment, I put the oregano, cilantro, and basil in galvanized troughs on top of the rock in the middle of the yard (away from curious canines):

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So glad Ms. Agnes could jump on in there for a size perspective shot!

A close up:

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Everything is doing really well there. Plenty of sun, plenty of water. I might have the hang of this, by George!

In front of that rock are three Home Depot blueberry bushes, also thriving. I just staked and tied them today:

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The other herb that I bought at the plant sale was mint. Knowing that it is a weed and it spreads like wildfire, and knowing that I really (*really*) enjoy mojitos, I popped four thriving plants into the ground on the side of the house, just outside the kitchen door. With any luck, it will take over and I can be sipping delicious adult beverages all summer long.

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The front steps got some more leftover galvanized pails with lavender plants. Yes, lavender is one of those plants that comes back year after year and gets big and bushy in the meantime. I’m going to start them here then transplant them to a permanent spot somewhere later.

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The yard did come with some mature, save-worthy things. Like two beautiful hydrangea bushes on the north side of the garage, along the path to the backyard.

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(there are two, but I could only get one in the frame if I also wanted to capture how well they hide our recycling bins!)

There was some beautiful sedum that popped up in what was to become grass, so I dug it up and put it in a pot temporarily until I can find a permanent home for it.

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This morning, my law school friend Brandy, visiting overnight from the ATL, joined me at the Coastal Growers Market at Casey Farm. Steve and I love this market and its wintertime counterpart. When law school friend Regina visited in March, we saw this cutie at the Reynold’s Farm goat cheese stand:

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It was the size of Agnes, about 10 pounds. Three months later, at a total of 4 months old, that same goat:

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Oh, hai, goatie.

We ate fantastic tacos (…it was like 9:45am) from my favorite locavore purveyor of delicious, Tallulah’s Tacos from Newport, and had some excellent cold brewed coffee and tea. We sampled everything available. I brought home some of goatie’s cheese (Steve’s favorite, roasted garlic).

While cruising and enjoying the market is nice, I was on the hunt for some tomato seedlings to plant in pots on the deck. Despite our CSA tomatoes, we always want more. So why not grow some? Well, let me rephrase that: why not try to grow some?

I came away with 6 plants: 3 brandywines, 2 japanese black, and 1 green/yellow tiger. After a trip to good old Job Lot for pots, they were planted and I’m now relaxing in the shade on the deck with Aggie and some Munroe Dairy lemonade watching them grow, writing this.

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and

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Up next? I need more pots and more rocks, but I’m planting some succulents for inside. Some will actually be making an appearance in the as-yet-completed powder room! But until then, they reside in the garage (…safely next to spray paint and– what is that?–kerosene?! Sorry Al Gore).

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Merde! And Other Bathroom Appropriate Exclamations

Yet more progress, thus another photo update post.

Where did I leave off? Ah, yes, the hole was tiled, the bead board went up, and some gray paint graced the walls.

Since then:

Finished the gray paint and my very handy brother in law installed the base board and moulding (I’m English now, keep up):

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and

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The light fixture went up:

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and

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The beadboard, baseboard, and moulding got painted. No picture of that step, sorry.

And le grande piece de resistance du merde? Le toilet!

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It’s an ADA height dual flush (ie different amounts of water used depending on the, uh, contents…no delicate way to put that). It’s been test driven and we like it. No more super low toilet wasting water and, worse, inundating our ancient cesspool slash septic with water. The door went back up when the toilet went in so it can at least be enjoyed!

So, I had been searching for the perfect small simple mirror for this room, and I hated most of what I was seeing out there. Or, I loved it but was not dropping the cash for a bathroom mirror. Enter Etsy. And this gorgeous, very inexpensive ($30!) vintage mirror:

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…which arrived looking like this:

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It was basically shipped in a package of angel tears and unicorn feathers, ie completely inadequate for a mirror. I was heart broken, for true. I was determined to salvage it somehow, so I called the glass place nearby, who wanted $60 to replace the mirror. Apparently this mirror was going to be crafted from antique royal glass used in the Palace of Versailles. So instead I took my chances and found a $10 centerpiece mirror at JoAnn Fabrics. Et voila?! It worked. Here’s my gorgeous baby hanging in the living room.

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She will be moving into the powdah room once the sink is installed.

Hopefully only one more progress post, then I can reveal the room as complete! The sink, faucet, towel bar, shelf, mirror, window frosting, art, plants (maybe?), and accessories are yet to come.

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