Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ach ja, Erdbeeren

Today I took the boys to Honeybrook Organic Farm to pick up our weekly share of their community supported agriculture. This spring we decided to purchase a share to both support our local growers and to force me out of my cooking comfort zone. Last week, Ry went to get our share since the boys and I were still in Oz.

When we pulled up we were greeted by a red barn right out of Little House on the Prairie. The people manning the food inside were about as nice as you'll find in NJ and the boys had a blast helping me select our pre-picked produce. Most of the weekly share is pre-picked by the staff and waiting for you to bag like at a farmer's market. Certain items are you-pick. This week, the you-picks were string beans and strawberries (also, herbs and flowers).

Having gotten a taste of both from Ry's adventuring last week, I wanted to be sure we got our full allotment and so out I trotted with both boys, a bag, shears and 4 quart containers to get our string beans. I was half-convinced it was going to be a total nightmare, but the kids really enjoyed it. Gummy Bear quickly took charge of carrying the quarts and Cheeky Monkey "helped" me pick. The beans were relatively quick work and the herbs and flowers took less than 10 minutes.

Satisfied, we headed out to their secondary farm, where the strawberry patch is. When we arrived, we took a tractor (Gummy Bear's favorite part) to the patch. This time, both boys lost interest pretty quickly, but I was saved by an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old who played with Gummy Bear and fed Cheeky Monkey strawberries for the 90 minutes it took me to pick 8 quarts of strawberries. Score! Our official allotment of strawberries was 10 quarts, but I figured that since the boys took 2 quarts home in their bellies, we were even.

I am a little disappointed that I didn't take pictures at the farm. Frankly, I was just happy it went so smoothly. This, however, is the aftermath. Do you think that kid could be more covered in strawberries, dirt, water and sunshine?
Where are my strawberries?

And this is our haul. The share is about $25 dollars a week. I'd say we got our money's worth. This week, $25 bought us:
~ 8 (or ... 10) quarts of strawberries
~ 4 quarts of string beans
~ 5 heads of lettuce
~ 2 bunches of kale
~ 4 cucumbers
~ 4 summer squash
~ 2 bunches of beets (which I declined. Ew.)
~ 2 heads of broccoli
~ 20 flower stems
~ chives, catnip, sage, thyme and lemon something or other

I think I'm going to like this very much. We've already eaten an additional 2 quarts of strawberries, 2 cucumbers, and 1 head of lettuce.

And this is completely unrelated. It was lunch for the boys yesterday and I looked down and thought, "This is the happiest-looking lunch ever!" And so it is.
I'm the happiest lunch EVER!


Cathy said...

Aww, give beets a chance! They are very mild and tasty

melydia said...

Holy crap, that's quite the haul! I wonder if there's something similar down in our neck of the woods...

Becky said...

Wait, I don't get the title of the post. Should I?

Jube said...

Cathy - what in the world do you do with them? I've only ever had them pickled and yuck!
Melydia - I'm sure there is something near you. They're everywhere! Try for several searchable databases.
Becky - not really. It's German, "Oh, Strawberries" and is an old and stupid joke from before you were even in high school.

G'pa said...

Beets-You can simply boil them and eat them with salt and pepper.

Mom said...

Keep the beets next time, Greg and I will eat them,looks like you had a good time,

Jason said...

That looks great! We were going to do the same thing this year but by the time I got into contact with all the farms that had even remotely reasonable prices they had already filled up for the season, so we've stuck with Trader Joe's this summer. I'm on a few waiting lists for next year and am hoping to do this!

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