Why did join the Owl's Nest Farm CSA?
I moved back to DC in March 2016 and knew I needed to find a CSA! I also hoped I could identify a farm where I could volunteer as well. Serendipitously, having lived in DC several years ago when I worked with Spencer at an environmental nonprofit, I heard that he and Liz were starting a farm operation. In the years since I left DC, I spent a couple of years working on small diversified farms in Washington and in Texas, so when I was in grad school in North Carolina, I sought out local farms where I could volunteer on weekends. So plugging in as a workshare volunteer with Owl’s Nest has been a great way for me to get my farming fix on the weekends-- along with fresh produce!
What was your favorite fruit, veggie, and/or herb from CSA this year?
I loved all the greens! Of course, I also love the hot-weather crops-- tomatoes, peppers, basil, cucumbers and look forward to summer! Owl’s Nest’s Hakurei turnips changed my mind about turnips, though (in a good way!).
Tell us about any new veggies you tried in 2016.
I tried ground cherries for the first time in 2016! I loved the tart and earthy fruit. I also liked asking farmers market customers what they thought about them-- and heard all kinds of associations with pineapple, mango, tomatillos.
What tips do you have for folks who might be trying a CSA for the first time?
Be creative! Or be simple! Sometimes the best way to enjoy the bounty is just by washing off the dirt and taking a bite-- I am thinking especially of carrots.
Please share your favorite recipe(s).
One thing I love about cooking with fresh produce is the simplicity-- after spending time working on farms, I learned that roasting vegetables with a little salt and pepper could taste even better than dishes that required long, complicated recipes with a thousand spices. If I had a food blog, I would call it “OOPS, I made dinner” because Olive Oil, Pepper, Salt-- OOPS-- is the foundation for everything! That said, in the past year, I have been getting into herb sauces or just adding fresh herbs to really take simple dishes to the next level. Bonus: it also helps facilitate “modular” meals-- re-using leftovers to make something fresh and different. Here are a few go-to recipes (that I recommend adapting to your own preference):
- Pea shoot pesto: http://www.saveur.com/pea-shoot-and-mint-pesto-recipe
- Green goddess dressing: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/08/05/vegan-green-goddess-dressing-vegan-recipes/
- Pumpkin seed cilantro dip/sauce: http://www.sproutedkitchen.com/home/2016/10/12/pepita-dip
- Sun jewel melon and cucumber salad: https://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/cucumber-and-melon-salad-with-mint
Answer a question you wish I'd asked.
I wish you had asked me for a vegetable joke… It’s not chard for one to turnip!
What vegetable is kind of cool? A radish!
What is Michelle Obama’s favorite vegetable? Barack-oli