Genesis Growers delivers boxes of produce to Geppetto's Toy Box. If you're signed up, you can pick them up on alternate Thursdays.
CSA – community supported-agriculture – is a movement that's been growing for the past five years or so.
Here's how it works: you buy "shares" for a season, and then during that season, you get a box of vegetables, eggs and sometimes chickens or other meat from a local farmer.
Every spring and fall, we get boxes of farm fresh produce delivered to Oak Park by Genesis Growers, who also have a presence at the Oak Park Farmer's Market.
We don't get shipments in the summer because we have a garden, but for spring and fall, when the farmer's markets are closed or running with reduced offerings, we love getting our weekly box of great stuff from Farmer Vicki Westerhoff.
Every week, Farmer Vicki sends out an email before the delivery to let us know what we're getting. This week, here's how she explained what we'd be getting in our box:
* Boc choi - An Asian green that is excellent in stir fry, but is also great as a standalone veggie. I often use the leaves as I would any green and then chop the stalk as a celery substitute.
* Bekana - another Asian green. This is a cool weather crop that we grow successfully only early and late in the year. This veggie is great lightly sautéed with a little garlic and onion. The leaves are tender and therefore make a great salad item. Again, I often chop the stalks as a celery substitute. I use the stalk of either bekana or boc choi if I am making tuna or chicken salad. Great crunch.
* Carrots - These were grown on sustainable land.
* Scallions - These were grown on sustainable land.
* Mint - Our mint is especially flavorful right now. I sent out a variety of types, so which one you got is up for grabs. I use mint in tea, as an addition to a salad and in muffins. But, someday I will mull it for a nice Mohito.
* Apples - These are from Hillside Orchard and were stored over the winter in Paul's cooler. Overwintered apples are not as pretty as fresh from the tree apples, but they taste mighty fine.
* Popcorn on the cob - This is from Three Sisters, who are Certified Natural, about the same thing as organic, but with farmer inspection rather than independent inspection. To pop the corn, place a cob in a paper bag and set in the microwave. Turn power to high and pop for 3-4 minutes or until popping ceases. You can also shuck the kernels off the cob by rubbing the two ears together. The rough action will cause the kernels to break off. Then you can pop by using a corn popper or a pan with a little oil.
Genesis Farms delivers boxes of produce to Geppetto's Toy Box. If you're signed up, you can pick them up every week on Thursdays.
Interested in getting fresh food from the farm? For pricing and other information, check the site for Genesis Growers http://www.genesis-growers.com/
Do you have a favorite CSA that delivers to Oak Park? Tell us about, please.