News From the Farm | January 21, 2013

News From the Farm – The Annual ‘What You Ate Last Year’ Report

We provide this report every year, hoping to impress you (and ourselves as well) with the diversity and splendidness of the fruits and veggies that we were able to include in the boxes during 2012.

Let’s start with fruit! When Full Belly started our CSA, there weren’t many fruit trees at the farm. At first we purchased organic oranges from our neighbor during the winter to provide some citrus, but over time we have planted more and more fruit trees of our own, and your boxes reflect that. Here’s a review of the fruit that you ate if you got a weekly box in 2012: Melons – 14 times; oranges – 9 times; apples – 6 times, plus grapes, pears, strawberries, figs, peaches, pomegranates, apricots and lemons. If you got a box, there was some kind of fruit in it almost every week.

You also got a lot of greens. Spring, winter and fall are greens season at Full Belly — 29 weeks total in 2012. Did you cook crispy chard, chinese bok choi, stir-fry collards and saucy kale? We know that many people have a hard time figuring out how to cook greens when they first start up in the CSA program, but we also hear that after awhile they don’t want to live without them. Leafy greens are probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food: rich in minerals, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins.

We hope that you don’t get tired of broccoli — we sent it your way 20 times in 2012. Like greens, it’s a cool weather (fall, winter and spring) crop. Maybe now that you have eaten it 20 weeks of the year, you should share your family’s favorite broccoli recipes with other CSA members!

The Alliums are another CSA box staple, appearing in your box most of the year in some form or another: a bit of fresh garlic or fresh onion in the spring, dry onions and garlic in the summer/fall and leeks in the fall/winter. Alliums appear in nearly every cuisine around the globe — the building blocks of many a meal

Potatoes – 19 times. Here’s what our friend Denesse Willey of T&D Willey Farms says about potatoes: “It’s completely true that the Irish obtained their entire protein needs from a per capita consumption of 8 lbs. potatoes and a glass of milk each day during most of the 19th century.”

Finally, here are a few words about tomatoes. We have just started to prepare seed flats in the greenhouse for our 2013 tomato crop. We really love to grow tomatoes and have worked diligently at it for many years. We grow heirlooms, slicers, romas and cherry types. No matter which way you want to think about it, tomatoes are a pretty important crop at Full Belly. At the height of tomato season, we don’t really even bother to weigh the tomatoes as we sort them into the bag for your CSA boxes, and once tomatoes start, you are likely to get them every week of the summer — 12 weeks of heirloom and regular tomatoes and four weeks of cherry tomatoes this year!

Here are some more facts about how many vegetables you ate in 2012:
Carrots 15 times
Lettuce and Salad Mix – 15 times
Winter Squash (acorn, hubbard, buttercup, butternut, delicata, kabocha, red kuri and sweet dumpling) – 15 times
Turnips and Rutabagas – 13 times
Cabbage – 12 times
Spinach – 12 times
Eggplant – 10 times
Herbs (including basil which was 5 times) – 10 times
Corn – 8 times
Cucumbers – 8 times
Green Beans – 8 times
Radishes and Daikon – 8 times
Summer Squash – 8 times
Beets – 7 times
Asparagus – 6 times
Sweet and spicy peppers – 6 times
Celery Root – 3 times
Sweet Potatoes – 3 times
Artichokes – twice
Fennel – twice