#AtoZChallenge | G is for Greens and planning ahead for our summer CSA.

I have an internal battle going on. It’s subtle but it’s there. I want to be something that I may have to acknowledge I am not. I want to be someone who passionately loves her CSA share and uses every single vegetable in creative and fun ways for my meals throughout the week.

Yuval Noah Harari wrote Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and the sequel Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. His books are fascinating and I definitely recommend you read them for a better understanding of his ideas but today I’m focusing on one of them in particular.

He talks about the concept of the narrative or remembered self versus the experiential self.  You can learn more from his podcast appearance on Armchair Expert. Dax and Yuval talk about the concept of these two selves starting at 44:48.

The way I understand it is the narrative or story telling self, is the part of ourselves writing the story of our lives. The experiential self is how we actually act and spend our time. They can often be in conflict. For example, my narrative self may have a vision of me as a blogger but if my experiential self doesn’t post or do any blogging related activities for a year they are in conflict.

This concept really resonated with me this year when it came time to sign up for our annual summer CSA (community-supported agriculture) share.

My experiential self really doesn’t do as great with our CSA as I would like. I struggle each week to use up what we get and am often reluctant to try some of the less common vegetables. However, my remembered or narrative self loves the idea that I fully embrace a CSA and I’ve even blogged about how important is is in my previous post Seven reasons why you should join a CSA.

This year I’m going to try to narrow the gap between my experiential and narrative selves. I’m doing a little preparation ahead of the start of the season so I’ll be more prepared to use my shares each week.

Here’s a sampling of some of the produce we’ve received each month in previous years:

JUNE: JULY: AUGUST: SEPTEMBER: OCTOBER:
Arugula
Beets, Red
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Broccolini
Carrots
Chard Rainbow
Garlic Scapes
Head Lettuce
Kale
Kohlrabi
Onions
Radishes
Salad Mix
Spicy Mix
Scallions
Spinach
Turnips
Basil
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Cucumbers
Fennel
Garlic Scapes
Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Peppers
Salad Mix
Salad Turnips
Scallions
Spicy Greens
Strawberries
Sugar Snap Peas
Tomatoes
Zucchini
Broccolini
Carrots
Celery
Corn
Cucumbers
Green Garlic
Peppers
Potatoes
Rainbow Chard
Salad Mix
Scallions
Shallots
Spicy Greens
Sweet Peppers
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Zucchini
Beans
Beets
Bell Peppers
Bok Choy
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Garlic
Green Beans
Kale
Kohlrabi
Peppers
Potatoes
Radishes
Salad Mix
Scallions
Spicy Greens
Spinach
Peppers
Tatsoi
Tomatoes
Beets
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussel-Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Eggplant
Fennel
Garlic
Kale
Onions
Pea Shoots
Peppers
Potatoes
Radishes
Salad Mix
Scallions
Spinach
Squash
Tomatoes
Turnips

 

I’ve researched recipes for each month that I can try when my CSA box shows up with something unexpected.

June

Farro Salad with Turnips and Greens. A recipe from Food and Wine that uses both the turnips and the greens. It’s a double win.

And, here are some ideas from Serious Eats on how to use the garlic scapes that we get this season The Crisper Whisperer: 7 Things To Do With Garlic Scapes Recipe.

July

Swiss chard & kohlrabi with lemon sauce from BBC Good Food. This one is great as it would use two vegetables that often show up in my early season CSA boxes.

Greens are especially challenging because there are just so many of them during the summer. They are relentless. I like the ideas on the Kitchn site, Lettuce is so much more than salad. Here are 10 more ways to eat it.

August

Wok-Seared Steak Majong with Shishito Peppers. I might add a few additional veggies to this recipe from Food & Wine.

Here’s a recipe from epicurious that steps outside my comfort zone, but I think that could be a good thing for me. Tomato-Coconut Curry with Cod. It uses the shallots, basil and cherry tomatoes.

September

Another one that uses up a few of my veggies at once, the Eggplant and Cabbage Dinner Frittata from Bon Appetit.

I’m not a fan of brussel sprouts. It’s one of the few vegetables that makes me gag but I’m hoping this recipe from The Gardening Cook might bode better for the brussel sprout leaves with this Sauteed Brussels Sprouts Leaves with Onions & Garlic version.

October

There are a lot of options out there for cauliflower. We recently discovered riced cauliflower which has become one of our staples. Here’s a fun one from the Food Network for Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese.

If I still need some inspiration, here’s a great article from Taste of Home for 49 Recipes That’ll Help You Use Up Your CSA Box.

One thing that both my narrative and experiential selves are in agreement on. The Farm we use for our CSA is awesome. If you’re in the Portland area, I recommend you check out Bumbleroot Organic Farm in Windham.

Why does this bring me bliss? Well clearly, it gives my narrative self more bliss than my experiential self but I’m working on it. I truly believe in eating local. It’s better for me and better for the planet. So, while the CSA may not be bliss-inducing yet, taking steps to do more on the local front does give me bliss.

Do you belong to a CSA? Do you have a favorite vegetable recipe that’s your go to in the summer?

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I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2020. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Bliss. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

19 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | G is for Greens and planning ahead for our summer CSA.

  1. Mikaela D'Eigh says:

    Love this. It is a study in self-awareness to to be conscious of the stories we tell ourselves ABOUT ourselves. Had not read those books, but will have to add them to my pandemic book list. 😉

    During these self-isolating times, I am even more thankful for the gift of living close to a few organic farms where I can get fresh produce without relying on grocery stores. And my seeds just came recently, so hopefully I’ll have my own garden to pick from this summer. Good luck with your CSA goals – it looks beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. J.S. Pailly says:

    I know what you’re talking about with the narrative vs experiential self. I remember reading about a very similar idea—something about the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves vs. the lives we actually live. Or to put it in even simpler terms, expectations vs reality.

    Sometimes our narrative and experiential selves are similar, which is healthy. Sometimes they become wildly different, which is when real problems occur. It was a life altering moment when I first read about this, and I’m so glad this idea is getting around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Molly of Molly's Canopy says:

    I used to split a share with a neighbor — and had trouble using up my half share! I got exposed to new veg (like garlic scapes and Japanese radishes), but the year they had a bumper beet crop I was giving them away to friends left and right 🙂 I now find that strategic trips to our farmer’s market (win the pre-sheltering at home days) do me just fine and I probably spend less than on the CSA share.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. slfinnell says:

    Do you ever consider freezing the excess produce til you feel like braving a new recipe? Getting those recipes ahead is such a good plan though! But currently really glad for my frozen tomatoes right now. Homemade sauces have made my family pretty happy 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. trishafaye says:

    Great blog! Besides talking food and CSA, you also gave me something to think about in myself – my own narrative views of myself compared to my experiential self.
    I love the theme you chose for the month!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tamara says:

    Ooohh, you’ve touched a nerve with this post. Two, actually.

    1. My my narrative self writes all 26 A – Z posts well ahead, so I can spend enough time visiting and commenting on other blogs. My experimental self picks favorite letters / topics and leaves the undesirable ones until the last minute 😉

    2. There is only so far I am willing to leave my comfort zone where food is concerned. I have my go-to veggies that I’ll make, but I’m realistic enough not to buy the others because they will most probably rot in the fridge. This is why I don’t use the farmer’s “produce surprise delivery”.

    Interestingly my post for the letter H is about Hofladen where you purchase exactly what you want: https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-z-2020-switzerland-hofladen-honesty.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      I think you’re not alone when it comes to the A to Z Challenge. Many of us avoid those least favorite topics!

      I’m getting better using new foods but it isn’t easy. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few that I end up enjoying. It’s an ongoing process for sure.

      I’ll be sure to check out your H post!

      Like

  7. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    My you are ambitious and organized. I did a CSA a few times and became frustrated with myself for not using all the vegetables adequately. My daughter said to just make stock with left overs but stock with radishes and parsnip is a bit tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dyannedillon says:

    I’m a picky eater and I don’t think I would fare well with CSA veggies, yet there’s a little part of me that would like to try. We don’t have a CSA near us, though. I actually checked last year! If we ever get to bust outta here, I do hope to make better use of our local farmer’s markets, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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