I’m so excited! After years of talking about signing up for a vegetable box thing, we finally did it! Unlike in other areas, the season here goes from November to April, and that’s the only times we get the box. That’s fine by us though. They don’t deliver, we have to pick it up but it is a local farm and it’s only a 10 minute drive from our house (we live in the boonies!). Today was our first pick up and the box contained dill (we left it for others to take cause we hate it), curly leaf lettuce, green beans, cherry tomatoes, one avocado, callaloo, lemongrass, sweet corn ears, and hibiscus flowers. We could have added honey, eggs, hummus, etc but chose not to since this is our first year and we didn’t know what to expect.
Some of those things we had never seen and had no idea what they were. Callalo, otherwise known as edible amaranth and pigweed, is supposed to be a great spinach substitute though it needs to be cooked. It is also known as bhaaji in the Caribbean and India. I have no idea what we’re gonna do with that but maybe I’ll experiment with it for Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t know yet what I’m going to do with the hibiscus flower. That’s the nice thing about this sort of boxes, you get things you’ve never had before and wouldn’t otherwise try. It broadens your culinary horizons and encourages you to think outside the box, or in this case, INSIDE the box 😛 I’m looking forward to find yummy recipes to use all these vegetables we will be getting every week from now until April.
These vegetable boxes are sold and put together by the farm close to us but they are a collaboration among several local organic farms. This is a small operation so they have very limited numbers of shares and they sold out very quickly, I’m glad we got it at all as only a few days after they started taking subscriptions they had sold out had a waiting list. They are trying to get the local food movement going in this area as well as raise awareness of local organic farmers. I’m glad I’m getting all these yummy local, fresh and organic veggies but I’m also very happy to be helping local farmers because in these day and age, they are a dying breed. I live in the outskirts of suburbia and I just have to drive 3 minutes to the west to get to the are where most of the food in Florida is grown yet we hardly ever see local produce in the supermarket. It’s a shame really because it is grown RIGHT HERE! I’m glad we have box schemes like this one, everyone is a winner. We have also considered the idea of getting local milk, especially since you can get it unpasteurized (GASP!!!!).
I’m off to eat my sweet corn now…the longer it sits the less sweet it gets!