This past Thursday was the first time I picked up my half-basket of fresh, local vegetables from McGill’s Farmers’ Market Community Supported Agriculture Program. It’s an increasingly popular program and idea, with most cities having at least one company that offers the same service: providing weekly half- or full-baskets of local vegetables for a season for a fair price to both the consumer and the farmers. You eat what’s in season and you eat it fresh; farmers are able to sell their products and compete with chain supermarkets. At McGill, a whole farmers’ market is set up every Thursday for all of September and October, and other organizations can sell their products, ranging from fresh vegetables to honeys and preservatives to jars of vegan meals.
While I’ve always been a supporter of buying and eating local food, I’ve also always been incredibly lazy and uninventive in the kitchen. I buy roughly the same products from the grocery store every week and make roughly the same meals, and while I try to buy what’s in season, that largely is limited to tomatoes, basil, and raspberries in the summer and some root vegetables and apples in the fall. I hate taking care of myself and while I love vegetables and eating healthy, 2 kilograms of frozen lasagna really suits my life style.
This is my first season trying this program out, but I am so excited. I’m already at a bit of a loss of what to do with these vegetables, but with these predetermined baskets of food, I’ll have to learn how to cook with new some things. I’ll most likely post every week of what I’ve gotten, so you can have an idea of what’s in season, but also, you should really leave me ideas of what to do with what I’ve been given.
This week was:
- one cantaloupe (eat it as is, eat it wrapped in proscuitto… and… that’s about all I know what to do with it);
- three tomatoes (eat them fresh, or throw them into my favourite easy pasta?);
- one head of lettuce (but it isn’t what my lettuce usually looks like! Should I just toss it into a salad anyway??);
- one bunch of carrots (…salad? They’re fresh, so I’m reluctant to cook them).