Last week it seemed to rain and storm constantly. Last Tuesday, I received a disheartened email from the primary grower of our CSA, Susan, warning us about the meager share we’d take home with us the following day. Rain had ripped apart the lettuce, caused the broccoli to turn yellow and get black rot, the tomatoes had signs of blight, and very little was ready to harvest after so many days with no sunshine.
Wednesday, I came home with 2 lbs 6 oz of kale, collard greens, a handful of good looking broccoli, a head of “scary soup broccoli,” green onions, and garlic scapes. This week, I paid about $5.26/lb for my veggies, bringing me to an average of $4.14/lb so far this season. Although it’s disappointing not to have a bountiful harvest each week, this is why CSAs are so important. The people who make their living can continue to make it, and although our budget is tight because of our debt snowball, it’s not tight as far as affording the necessities.
I was excited about the very funky looking garlic scapes that were included in our share. I’d never heard of them before, but here’s what our CSA had to tell us about them:
“Scapes are the flower stalks found on members of the Allium family (onions, leeks, chives, and garlic). Garlic scapes, which only appear on the finest hardneck garlic varieties, curl upward as they grow, ultimately straighten, and then grow little seed-like bulbs. When the garlic scapes are still in full curl, they are tender and delicious. We remove them about three weeks before we harvest the garlic, sending more energy to making a bigger bulb of garlic. In most gardens they are a totally underutilized part of the garlic. Most people only use the bulbs and throw away the tops. We were doing that until about 10 years ago when I saw them selling for $16 a pound at a DC market.”
So, really, $4.14 is pretty good when you’re geting gourmet food like garlic scapes. (Although it cracks me up that they’re a delicacy even though you have to cut them off for the garlic to grow properly.) How did we use our garlic scapes? We’re pretty classy and high maintenance around here, so they went into scrambled eggs I accidentally threw them away when I was cleaning out the fridge after I began this post and said we were going to put them into eggs. The gross funny thing is, I gutted and cleaned out my fridge for the first time in 10 months two weeks ago. My fridge-clearing frenzy is a recent development.
I actually did make kale pesto this week. It was my first pesto-making experience. The taste was great, although it was very thick and clumped up in the noodles. I may have used too much kale and I added in a bunch of basil (as recommended by Susan). I also used some super-fine peccorino romano cheese instead of parmegiano-reggiano, which may have also made it too stiff. Next time, I’ll add oil until I’m comfortable with the consistency and then spread it throughout more pasta so it doesn’t feel too greasy.
I did a really crummy job of taking pictures this week. Either the camera was out of batteries, or I left our memory card somewhere else, or I forgot. My goal is to take more pictures and write more posts this week.
Although my CSA share was meager and I accidentally wasted some of the good things I was given, I’ve been thinking about the blessings I do have lately. Here are some words that have fueled these thoughts. I hope they encourage you.
“Return, O my soul, to your rest;
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”