Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Community Shared Agriculture - Week 5

It's hard for me to believe that not only is it June, but that we are already into the 5th week of this seasons CSA share.  I feel like time is flying by and while that means we are entering into the best part of the CSA season (summer time in NJ) it also means that we say goodbye to some of the springtime favorites like asparagus, strawberries, and once the weather turns warmer many of those spring time greens.

My family enjoyed the asparagus while it was here and we will be sorry to see it go, but we are looking forward to the summer squash varieties and fresh tomatoes from the vine, and all the delicious summer fruits, and most definitely summer corn.

That to me is one of the best parts of the CSA box, is learning to truly enjoy the moment and what is in season and at the peak of freshness during that season.  Sure we miss some of our favorites and could easily pick them up from imported sources at the local grocery store.  Yet it wouldn't be the same as when we get them picked fresh from the farm.

So this week because it was raining so much my children didn't get to spend time at the farm and we only went to pick up our box.  In our box, however, were some delicious items.  We were once again presented with an abundance of strawberries (the pick your own season for strawberries will be coming to a close in about 3 weeks in NJ), several varieties of lettuce, some onions, radishes, broccoli, leeks, tomatoes, kale, turnips, kohlrabi, and a cilantro plant.  I learned this week while at the farm that the variety of cilantro plant that we received is considered to be chinese parsley.  who knew!  not me that's for sure.

I am going to be challenged a bit this week to find uses for my turnips, kohlrabi, and radishes.  Last year I gave most of those to my neighbor and didn't really try them out on my family.  This year I plan to source up some recipes (I'll share those with you next week) and use my root veggies to their finest extent.  (and of course pray that my family eats them!)  If any of you have some good cooking tips for these or a recipe to share, please do.  I would appreciate any input.

My oldest daughter informed me that we have far too many strawberries and before they go bad she wanted to make a pie.  So we did.  Below is the recipe for strawberry pie that we used.  It turned out really well and was simply to make.  We will also be making some jam from our strawberries this week.

I took the recipe from strawberry pie from Cooking Light Magazine.


  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry gelatin (sugar free)
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • fresh mint


  1. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until slightly cooled.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange strawberries in the crust. Pour gelatin mixture over berries. Refrigerate until set. Garnish with mint if desired.

**note**  I did not choose to use my own pastry shell this time around as I had a pre made one already in the house, but you certainly could use your own pastry shell recipe if you have the time and desire.  Because I was baking with littles, it was easier to use the pre made pastry shell.  I use pillsbury brand.

**Note**  you could also use regular gelatin if you didn't want to use sugar free jello, but the strawberries were already so sweet on their own there was no reason to use the regular jello in our pie.  

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