Category Archives: CSA

Rosemary Garlic New Potatoes

Have I mentioned lately how much I love belonging to a CSA? What’s not to love about a box filled to the brim with new potatoes, swiss chard, zucchini, fresh rosemary and basil, scallions and various other goodies? Oh yes, I am totally in love with Star Hollow Farm and am not ashamed to admit it.

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Filed under CSA, farmers markets, Fast Food, Potatoes

Nothing Beats Fresh and Local…

As I have said on several occasions, I am a huge proponent of buying in season, fresh produce from local farmers. The health benefits to the consumer are more than enough to switch from grocery store produce shipped from out of state to the wonderful bounty of local fruits and vegetables offered from small farms. However, it is hard to do this when you don’t live in a city like D.C., which has an abundance of farmers markets to choose from around the metro area.

While working at the farm stand last weekend, Farmer Randy told me about a non-profit organization called Buy Fresh Buy Local based in Pennsylvania. Buy Fresh Buy Local (BFBL) uses its resources to market and promote the use of fresh produce from local farms. Its mission is to strengthen the small farms throughout the country and encourage the concept of sustainable agriculture. Within the parent organization are local chapters throughout the USA, most of which have a presence on the internet thanks to BFBL. Even better, the local chapter websites provide the user with tools to identify local farms stands, markets, CSAs and direct-farm purchase opportunities. If you are interested in using more local produce in your cooking, visit the BFBL website or Local Harvest, another website that provides search engines for local produce opportunities. Trust me, the flavors of fresh produce alone are worth it!

I will be visiting a few of the farmer’s markets this weekend to get a feel for what is currently available. I will be sure to report back! Have a good weekend!


Filed under CSA, farmers markets, local produce

Workin’ @ The Farm Stand

Spring has definitely arrived in DC and no where is that more evident than the many farmer’s markets throughout the metro area. As I have mentioned previously, I belong to the Star Hollow Farm CSA (sorry, but it’s currently closed to new members), which has a pick up site at the Adams Morgan Farmer’s Market. Now that the Farmer’s Market is open, Star Hollow has both the CSA box distribution and the farm stand to attend to on Saturdays. To help manage both projects, CSA members volunteer to distribute the boxes to other members. It not only allows Star Hollow Farm to manage the workload, it gives the members a chance to interact with each other (and share recipes!). This past Saturday, I volunteered for the afternoon shift and had a ball!

Before starting my “shift”, I walked around the market to get a feel for the different vendors. Due to a miscommunication, it was advertised in the local media that the Adams Morgan Farmer’s Market opened in May. Because of this, there are not a lot of farm stands currently set up. However, the ones that are there have already brought out the bounty of Spring. Lovely rhubarb and strawberries were on sale, along with red peppers (still a little too under ripe for my taste), green onions and spinach.

While I got ramps in my CSA box (more on what I did with them later), there were none for sale in the market itself. Quite honestly, I had never heard of ramps until a few weeks ago when I saw recipes using them on various food blogs in the blogosphere. Randy Treichler, the farmer behind Star Hollow, told me ramps are not planted. Instead, if the conditions are right, they grow wild and are then harvested. Randy (we call him Farmer Randy) then told me ramp season doesn’t last very long, so they are a prized food commodity.

I always learn something about the food I eat when I talk to Randy, which I find to be invaluable. There is something comforting about knowing how my food is being grown and who is growing it. In addition, I have always been a proponent of sustainable agriculture and supporting local farmers and local vendors. Not only does my CSA membership help support a local farm, it provides me with amazingly fresh (and high quality) produce. And that, in my humble opinion, is the secret to my fabulous creations!


Filed under CSA

The Reawakening

One of my biggest passions in life is food, which can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I truly believe everyone should have a passion in their lives and a curse because I once weighed 200 pounds. While I have been able to maintain a healthy weight, somewhere along the line I lost my zeal for cooking. However, like so many other things in my life, DC helped to reignite this passion.

Before I moved to DC, one of my professors strongly urged me to check out the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market. I was a frequent visitor of the markets in North Carolina, so I was used to the world of fresh produce. In fact, I have long been a supporter of using locally grown, in season produce. However, nothing prepared me for the almost orgasmic quality of produce available at the D.C. farmer’s markets. Not only were the markets twice the size of the ones in North Carolina, they had such an incredible variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products and so many other food marvels. The very first trip to Dupont Circle ended in me spending almost $100 and lugging a huge bag of items 15 blocks (I hadn’t yet mastered the bus schedule or the wonders of Zip Car). When I got everything home (did I mention I moved up here in the beginning of summer…I did not look pretty when I finally made it back to my apartment), I spent all day exploring different flavor profiles and recipes. The beast was awoken!

While I am still a frequent visitor of the various farmer’s markets in D.C., I now get a majority of my produce from Star Hollow Farm through a program called community supported agriculture (CSA). The concept is simple: a person buys a “share” of a local farm’s harvest for their growing season. Each week, the consumer receives a portion of the crops harvested that week at the farm. There are numerous benefits to this arrangement, for both the consumer and the farmer. The farmer receives financial support (and not in the form of farm subsidies…something my sister and friend Dan abhor) and reaches out to his/her community, thus increasing their profile (and hopefully customer base). Some farmers I have spoken to in the past have said creating their own CSA helped to keep them from losing their farms. The consumer gets fresh (and for most CSA’s), organically grown produce at an affordable cost and gets to know who is growing their food. It helps to encourage the purchasing of local foods, thus reducing the shipment of food across the country (and hopefully reducing carbon emissions). Plus, you often get to try new vegetables or fruits that you normally would not experiment with because of the variety of the harvest.

With this renewed vigor for cooking in mind, I will share my food experiment successes (like this lovely blood orange, beet and red onion salad…credit must be given to my favorite food blog) and failures with you. Hopefully my passion will inspire others….or at least cause you to drool on your keyboards.

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Filed under Cooking, CSA