There’s still plenty in the garden, but recently I have been delighting in the often unexpected hues found in the produce we receive weekly from our CSA. No, I don’t grow my own vegetables. Why would I when I am surrounded by small farmers who need my business? Western New York has long been a center for farms of all sorts—fresh eggs, dairy, meat, fruit, vegetables, flowers, and plants are readily available through shares and at about 15 regional farmers markets. There is now a service where you can mix product from a few farms and even thrown in stuff from a local pickle shop, a local bakery, and other artisanal providers. And they deliver.
Our CSA is from Oles family Farm, which also provides organic produce to a few of the top restaurants in the area. We picked organic, because, you know, we’re eating it. I see arguments that some pesticides/herbicides, etc. are not proven to be dangerous all the time over at the Garden Professors group and elsewhere, but I’d rather stick with a farm that uses cover crops, compost, crop rotation, and physical barriers. I feel better about eating the food. (That may not sound scientific, but I believe scientists will tell you it makes a difference.)
This time of year and September are the best times for local produce around here. Corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, various greens, and potatoes—the ordinary vegetables that we use most—are plentiful, though we also have a backlog of onions and garlic. They also offer six kinds of beets, all kinds of peppers, tomatillos, and much more.
Maybe my Irish ancestry is what makes me such a potato lover. The Adirondack reds shown at top are a recent variety; unlike other reds, they are red right through and loaded with antioxidants. According to Fedco, these were released in 2008 by Cornell to add vigor to the red potato scene. Another local farmer, Tom Tower, has seed-tested a golden-fleshed potato known first as NY-126, then as Lehigh. Around here, we call it the Youngstown Yellow. Tom is also known for his heirloom tomatoes and apples.
Do we receive stuff we can’t use? Absolutely (in fact, I see one of those tomatoes is past its prime, though still photogenic), but I usually just bring it into work where there are always takers. My Sicilian grandfather grew and canned tomatoes every season and sometimes I think I’d like to do that—but not in an urban garden with partial shade. Next life.Posted by Elizabeth Licata on August 24, 2016 at 7:59 am, in the category Eat This, Feed Me.