Joining a community-supported agriculture program (or CSA) can be daunting: How to prepare everything in your weekly box of farm-fresh produce? Here's a bumper crop of ideas for what to do with the harvest, all growing season long -- and information on how to find farm-fresh produce near you.
To learn more about community-supported agriculture, watch this behind-the-scenes video.
Not sure what to do with all those vegetables? On the following slides, we'll do the math to help you figure out which ingredients add up to a fresh, delicious meal.
Swiss Chard + Garlic Scapes = Pasta
Process the scapes with olive oil, Parmesan, and toasted pine nuts for an easy pesto. Toss with cooked pasta and sauteed Swiss chard leaves. Or try Whole-Wheat Penne with Sausage, Chard, and Artichoke Hearts.
Cabbage, romaine, and escarole: Quarter, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred.
Watermelon: Slice and grill until golden brown.
Strawberries, peaches, and plums: Skewer and grill until golden. Puree and fold into yogurt. Or make Grilled Peaches with Prosciutto.
There are more ways than ever to support your local farmers and take back dinner.
Each week the farm sets up at a central location, such as a farmers' market, where members select the offerings they actually want and skip over those they don't.
If you can't get enough Asian greens, there might be a CSA near you specializing in them. More farms are offering niche shares like exotic ingredients (think ginger and daikon) or stone fruits.
Some CSAs have become a one-stop shop by teaming up with local creameries and pastures. For an additional fee, members can upgrade to milk and cheese, meats and seafood, even fresh flowers.
Join forces with a neighbor (or three) and invest in a quarter of a pig or half a cow from a local farmer. The more you buy up front (some shares provide more than 500 pounds of premium cuts), the more you save.
Gaining momentum along the Atlantic, residents of coastal areas pay local fishermen for a weekly share of enviro-smart catches such as fresh lobster from Maine or flounder from North Carolina.
Head to localharvest.org to search the CSA options near you.