The Great Vegetable Challenge

This has been a week of firsts. The first day of summer. The first week of CSA shares. The first time using radishes in guacamole. The first Granor Farm blog post. On behalf of the 2014 Granor Farm crew, welcome! Thanks for reading, thanks for visiting, but most importantly thank you for eating vegetables.

It may seem silly to thank you for that last one, but we at the farm have a new found appreciation for our CSA members’ ability to consume their weekly bags of leafy greens. In honor of the first week of CSA shares we decided to embark on team challenge: Each crew member (the new crop of interns pictured in the last post and Sarah, our Farm Manager) has one week (Friday-Friday) to eat a Full CSA share.

The challenge started Friday with vegetable selection, a process that those CSA members who pick-up at the farm know well. We followed the same rules that our members do, as explained on the chalkboard in the farm store: nine vegetables each, and for us no duplicates to avoid the urge to stay with safe choices, or, in the words of Patrick, “zucchini, zucchini, zucchini.”

The chalkboard in the farm store shows what vegetables are available each week.

The chalkboard in the farm store shows what vegetables are available each week.

Selecting our vegetables felt a bit like a sports-team draft. Strategizing which players would be the most versatile, the riskiest, the safe bets. “Kale = kale chips. Easy. Turnips, sweet, crisp, and pink! What could go wrong. But wow that’s a lot of greens … Can I eat that much foliage? Better get scallions, those go in everything.” And so on. There were definitely some game time decisions made in the cooler, but by the end there were five bags full of nine kinds of vegetables and five hungry crew members ready to start cooking.

Despite what might seem like expert know-how on the topic of cooking vegetables, all of us at the farm have a veggie we haven’t tried or a technique we need to test. Friday night Julio, a self-proclaimed novice cook, experimented with traditional guacamole by adding garlic scapes, scallions and even radishes for taste and texture. Meanwhile, across the counter Sarah made an incredible batch of scallion pancakes while Patrick grilled squash and Katelyn and I sauteed turnip greens and chard. Needless to say, there were a lot of exciting things happening and a lot of post-meal satisfaction.

Julio's Guac with radishes, scapes, and scallions. Grilled squash and zucchini in the background!

Julio’s Guac with radishes, scapes, and scallions. Grilled squash and zucchini in the background!

While there may be an ice cream reward waiting for successful eaters next Friday, this challenge is more than a competition. It will be an opportunity for us to explore the many ways our produce can be enjoyed, in addition to practicing our cooking skills and learning ways to reduce food waste. If all goes well, this may be something we keep up all summer! It seemed rather selfish of us not to share all of this cooking, eating and bonding time with our members, so we decided to share! We’ll be posting recipes, favorites and flops, in addition to pictures and stories all week. And don’t be shy! You’re all veterans of the vegetable eating trade so share your tips and tricks! Here, on Facebook, in person, wherever you find us.

In the meantime, enjoy the greens, the pinks, and the summer.

Best,

Meg the intern

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