The wonderful thing about
They, of course, are grown in the north as well, but greens aren’t ingrained in the traditional northeastern food culture. I didn’t know what I was missing; collards, kale and mustard. What a travesty!
Though the warmer weather offers much variety, it also poses some additional challenges. The summers bring more pests and the intense heat dries the soil and withers the crops.
Alas, yesterday, as my csa season came to a close and I picked up my very last share of vegetables. While I was there, I paused to reflect on what I gained through this experience; a sense of community with my fellow members, chatting and sharing recipes at our Thursday pickups and through our farm-to-table potluck. The event was held at the farm; the quiet of the expanse of land filled with vegetables, sounds muffled by the soft ground, broken only by the laughter of children. We gained a sense of being closer to the earth; getting our hands dirty; pulling our own potatoes and sharing foods that came from the earth and we made with our own hands.
My daughter and I sought out farmers markets and visited other farms, we met the actual farmers and their animals; goats, chickens and cows all roaming free.
I learned about the growing season; about vegetables I didn’t even know existed and challenged myself with creating recipes, that didn’t just include them, but featured them.
I learned a fraction of what the small organic farmer endures for the love of whole foods. In the
Is it a coincidence that the rise of food allergies has a direct correlation with the emergence of genetically modified products? Do we really know all the repercussions of tampering with nature? I’m not sure if these questions will be answered in my lifetime but what about my daughters? The only thing I can control now is ensuring I know where my food comes from, developing relationships with the people growing and raising it, and sharing the wonderful, amazing experience with my two year old daughter in the hopes that she will carry it with her through life.
p.s. I must share that there are some farmers that still do grow a few crops in the summer but as a whole, it is just much harder between the heat and the pests.
To close out my story, I will share a recipe that embodies everything I learned. My new friend Wendy, also an organic farmer, dropped me off two of these purple heirloom tomatoes at my front door (one of the benefits of knowing and loving your farmers). Sweet, juicy and the best part...purple! I pared it with some organic, grass fed and free range beef and some goat cheese from goats I personally met.
Purple Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Burgers on Open Faced Portobello with Balsamic
1 lb organic, grass fed beefSalt, pepper, garlic powder, to taste3 Tbsp whole grain mustard1 Tbsp Worcestershire
2 Tbsp organic ketchupCanola oil spray4 Portobello mushrooms4 thick slices tomato4 oz fresh goat cheese2 cups spring mix4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat grill to medium high. Mix beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard, Worcestershire and mustard in a medium bowl. Divide into four sections and shape into equal size burgers. Season mushrooms with salt, pepper and garlic powder; spray both beef and mushrooms with oil.
2. Add burgers and mushrooms to the grill. Reduce heat to medium; grill 4 to 5 minutes per side.
3. Place each mushroom on a plate, top with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup lettuce, 1 burger, 1 slice tomato and 1 oz goat cheese. Serve with grilled asparagus.
Nutrition Facts 4 ServingsAmount Per Serving
Calories 423.1 Total Fat 30.1 g Saturated Fat 13.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g Monounsaturated Fat 11.9 g Cholesterol 98.1 mg Sodium 648.8 mg Potassium 459.1 mg Total Carbohydrate 9.5 g Dietary Fiber 1.6 g Sugars 3.4 g Protein 27.4 g
Vitamin A 27.6 % Vitamin B-12 45.3 % Vitamin B-6 20.7 % Vitamin C 8.7 % Vitamin D 4.4 % Vitamin E 3.7 % Calcium 8.3 % Copper 20.3 % Folate 5.4 % Iron 19.1 % Magnesium 9.0 % Manganese 6.6 % Niacin 31.8 % Pantothenic Acid 10.8 % Phosphorus 26.7 % Riboflavin 27.0 % Selenium 37.7 % Thiamin 8.1 % Zinc 32.5 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.