Posts Tagged ‘Farmers Market’

Why I Love Community Supported Agriculture

Every Sunday my husband, daughter, and I head to our local farmer's market in Mountain View, California. We usually end up loaded down with so many bags it gets hard to carry them all, but it really makes my soul happy to be there.

Here's Lainey today striking a shy pose as we shopped.

This farmer's market is big and filled with so many farmers selling so many varieties of fruits and vegetables, even in the winter. Check out these black carrots I bought today (they are really purple, but they are so dark that they look black).

There's something about looking at, touching, smelling, and tasting the local produce that just feels right to me. Eating food grown with the highest of standards on small local farms with tremendous care, sweat, and love, is the best way I know to feed my family.

(Here are some pretty pluots I saw today.)

Because my husband and I are so committed to eating this way, and committed to supporting the farmers who see it as their mission to grow honest, flavorful, nutritious food, we just joined our first CSA (community supported agriculture) program.

A CSA is where you buy a share of a local farm's produce. Then once a week you pick up a basket of food from them. You don't know what you'll get, it depends on what they're growing and what's in season.

We thought this would be a great way to expand our food horizons by introducing us to new and interesting produce, and enable us to support a local farm by paying them up front for the season, so they can have better control over their cash flow during the year.

The CSA we joined is called Mariquita Farm in Watsonville, CA. To see photos of their farm, check out their Facebook page.

Here's what they said about their CSA program:

Mariquita Farm grows a wide variety of crops in three locations to take advantage of different micro-climates; Aromas for cool weather crops like strawberries and lettuce, Hollister for warm weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, and many leafy greens and Madera for hot weather crops like melons and sweet potatoes. We are looking forward to growing fun and interesting varieties for our 2013 Mariquita Farm CSA boxes; Little Gem lettuces and other flavorful European varieties, Heirloom tomatoes, and unusual heirloom greens and vegetables like Romanesco broccoli, Broccoli di Cicco, or orange Cheddar cauliflower. We look forward to serving you.

And we look forward to being served and forging a relationship with farmers we respect. I'll be picking up our first box on Wednesday. I'll post a photo of what's in it. Then stay tuned for interesting recipes I create using all these new ingredients I get to try.

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Some of My Favorite Snack Foods

I have to admit... I am a snacker. I spend a lot of time either sitting in front of my computer or in my car driving my daughter to school, so it's rare when I actually sit down for lunch.

I was asked by the people at Activia Harvest Picks to write about my favorite snack foods, and I was happy to do it.  Plus, I thought this would give me a great opportunity to work on my food photography skills with my new Canon DSLR.

I live in Santa Monica, CA, and there is the most incredible farmer's market right down the street. This is what it looks like, just two blocks from the beach. My husband or I go once a week.

Yesterday, I took my camera with me (it was 75 degrees outside and a little hazy) and I photographed all the foods I love to snack on.

Berries -- Any and all kinds of berries, my favorite being blackberries and strawberries.  The only place I've had better berries is on my mother's farm in North Carolina. Otherwise, these are the best.

Raw almonds -- I can eat them by the handful. This is my snack when I want something filling and satisfying.

Satsuma Mandarins -- I like my sweet with a big dose of tangy and that's exactly what these taste like, plus they're super easy to peel and very portable. I just pop them in my bag as I'm heading out the door.

Heirloom carrots -- I like my carrots in a variety of colors (I find the purple ones to be extra sweet). I just peel them and eat them... a lot of them. I wonder if I was a rabbit in a previous life. They are just so crunchy and have such a delicious earthy taste.

Pink Lady apples -- Not only do I like the name, but again it's got that great balance of sweet and acid, plus they taste great with a spoonful of peanut butter.

Haas avocados -- I just cut them in half, sprinkle them with kosher salt, maybe a dash of lemon, grab a spoon, and go to town. This is another filling snack for me.

And finally my downfall... These are dark chocolate cakes with chocolate ganache. I could seriously live on chocolate alone and need a piece (or two or three) every day. It's my major Achilles heel. I don't know how I could ever live without it. Or why I'd ever want to.

Hope you enjoyed the photos. I'd love to hear what your favorite snacks are.

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Compensation was provided by Activia via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Activia.

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