Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Are you familiar with this concept? Its a great way to get a variety of fruits and veggies throughout the summer/fall -with hardly any work on your part! Each CSA operates a little differently so if you are interested in this concept, check around in your area. You might be surprised with what you find!! I will be going through Terripin Farms in Lorraine, IL for my CSA in 2010. Since its just me so I will probably do 1/2 order.

From the Terripin Farms Blog:

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. A CSA is a unique opportunity to connect with local farmers to obtain fresh, local produce. Here’s how the CSA partnership works:> Members, or shareholders, of the CSA pay for the growing season in advance to cover farming expenses such as seeds, labor, supplies, etc.> we devote our time and energy to growing an entire season of fresh produce for the CSA members.> Members receive a weekly basket of fresh, local produce from June through the second week of October.

Also a newsletter with tips on how to cook prepare and freeze or can excess. The news letter will also contain the happenings of the farm from week to week. You are also Welcome to visit the farm at any time we will have a end of the year pumpkin party and pot luck dinner for our CSA members Please bring the kids! We welcome you to come see the farm anytime.

How it works:

How does the CSA work?

Members purchase shares in advance and then receive a basket of fresh, local, and in season produce each week throughout the season.

What can I expect in my basket?

Each week you can expect a wide variety of in-season, delicious produce. One share will contain enough vegetables to feed a family of Four per week A half share is suitable for two adults.

Where will we pick up our produce?
At the O’Fallon MO farmers and artist market. Sat morings from 8:00 to 10:00


How much does it cost?

A full share is $575. This provides enough produce for two adults and 2 small children unless you eat a lot of vegetables over the 22 week season. A 1/2 share option costs $375.

How many shares are available?
We are again limiting the number of available member shares to 25. Membership enrollment is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

How can I become a member?
For more information contact Jessica Dyer at (217) 440-4678 or meadow@adams.net. It is customary for members of a CSA to pay for their share of produce in advance. This enables the growers to buy seed and equipment before the season begins, thus reducing the burden of up-front costs for the grower.

You can read more about Terripin Farms on their LocalHarvest page or their blog here.

I will still have my garden at my new house. I hope to do more herbs this year and maybe start some asparagus and a small strawberry patch for future years!

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New Home Photos

Just wanted to share a few pictures of my new home. I didn’t get any of the backyard or garden area yet, but I will post soon!

The third bedroom is set up for the baby the previous owners have, I will use that for my spare room. I have 3 bedrooms upstairs so I think I’ll make one of those rooms into a yoga room, which I’ve been waiting to do!!!

More pictures to come!

Shameless Plug

Hello Readers!

I am still in the process of moving, I forgot how bad it was to move!

I wanted to let all of my readers know I have recently become a Shaklee distributor. Don’t worry, this blog will not turn into me trying to sell you Shaklee products!! I had some health issues in the past 6 months and with some changes in my diet and Shaklee vitamins, I feel like a new person!!

If anyone is interested in learning more about the Shaklee products or business opportunity, please feel free to contact me through the blog or by email jennykerr at gmail dot com.

My website is: http://jennykerr.myshaklee.com

You can also fan me on facebook here

I have some special incentives for my blog readers so please contact me to learn more 🙂

I hope to be moved and settled by the end of Feb 2010 so the blog will resume then! Just in time for spring and gardening, I can’t wait!

Moving!

I’m ashamed its been since August that I last posted! I have had my condo for sale and spent most of the fall/winter trying to downsize things so  I didn’t have to move anything extra when it sold! I have slacked off on coupons. I have paid full price for things. I have been disorganized. What is wrong with me!!!

I don’t do well with disorganization. I have mentioned many times on this blog that if I’m not organized, I might as well not even bother going shopping because it won’t be a good trip! That is how my life has been for the past few months.

I will be moving at the end of January 2010 and taking a little time to regroup. This blog will be taking a different direction in 2010, I’be been thinking about it for awhile now and I finally have the tools to put it in place.

Stay tuned for more in 2010, there are many good things to come!

Menu Plan Monday week of August 3rd

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Whew what a week! Its 10:00 on Sunday night and I’m hoping I have everything planned for the week. I don’t feel that organized. I had some family in town today to do a little shopping and hit the casino (I came out ahead $50 yay!) and by the time I got home, got somethings prepared for the week, and sat down, I realized how late it was!

Not much going on for me this week. Here’s what I have planned:

Breakfast -Kashi waffles (free from vocal point coupons) with fresh fruit, Rice Krispie cereal

Dinner/Lunch:

Porcupine Meatballs with fresh green beans (thanks dad!)blueberries

Spaghetti with broccoli on the side and fruit salad

Grilled chicken (marinated in red raspberry vinegrette–yum!) baked potato, peas

Beef & noodles (frozen from last week) coleslaw, fruit salad

Lasagna (also frozen from last week) and some sort of veggie!

I picked some more tomatoes from the garden this weekend. I didn’t want to take the time to get out the food chopper so I chopped them by hand. The tomatoes were a little bigger but thats ok, I can always chop them smaller after they are thawed. I was just happy to get them chopped!

I need to really be working on eating what I have in my freezers. I can barely fit anything in there anymore, its a little out of control! So my meals for the next few weeks will be based on what I have on hand.

For more organizing tips please check out orgjunkie.com

My alternative to canning

I took a class a few weeks ago on canning and I REALLY want to start doing it. Unfortunately, I’m in a condo with a small kitchen and don’t feel I have the room to do it. I also need a pressure cooker. My mom keeps telling me I don’t need one that I’ll blow the kitchen up. I don’t think it’s that hard! It seemed pretty easy in the class and the newer pressure cookers seem fool proof! I’ll save that for another day and when I finally get to move out of my condo into a house!

I had tons of tomatoes from the garden so this weekend I decided to start chopping and freezing. I did this last summer and it was awesome. I chopped tomatoes and squeezed out the juice and used my last bags in June of this year. It kept great frozen. I used it in chili, tacos, spaghetti sauce, etc..

This process took me an hour from start to finish and that includes clean up.

I started with approximately 30 tomatoes

CIMG3518

I also used a mixing bowl, ziplock bags, strainer, food chopper, cutting board, knife and marker. Its easier if your strainer fits over the top of the mixing bowl because you will be draining the juice into the mixing bowl.

Supplies

Supplies

Then I started chopping! I chopped the tomatoes, cutting off the bad parts and then put in the chopper, chop and put in the strainer which drips into the mixing bowl. Rinse and repeat.

My strainer on top of the mixing bowl

My strainer on top of the mixing bowl

CIMG3522

You can cut the wedges as big or small as you want

You can cut the wedges as big or small as you want

Leave the chunks as big or small as you want

Leave the chunks as big or small as you want

Tomatoes in chopper before putting in strainer

Tomatoes in chopper before putting in strainer

Tomatoes in strainer, I push on them to drain the juice out

Tomatoes in strainer, I push on them to drain the juice out

When your cutting the tomatoes you may have to cut the 'core' out

When your cutting the tomatoes you may have to cut the 'core' out

The mess I made

The mess I made

6 bags of juice and 6 bags of tomatoes

6 bags of juice and 6 bags of tomatoes

I will freeze them flat, stacked like this for more room

I will freeze them flat, stacked like this for more room

I got 12 total bags out of these tomatoes. I will continue to do this through the summer in hopes to have enough for another year of great tasting tomatoes!

Menu Plan Monday week of July 27

Its been a long week around here. My grandma passed away last Sunday so I was out of town most of the week. Her death was expected but its still hard and sad to deal with.

You would not believe the amount of food we had. I don’t even know where it all came from! Friends of the family and the church brought a lot of it but in the end there were many dishes we didn’t even know who had brought! Makes it hard to write the thank you notes, so note to self: always provide name on dishes  given in these type of events!

We had so much food, I was able to take back some to freeze. My favorite – beef and noodles along with lasagna and a few other items. I divided them up into single serve containers so I can take them out for a quick meal.

My dad also gave me sweet corn and green beans so I had that to prepare this week too! I have some peaches and blackberries from the farmers market which I will try to sneak in this week.  (I know its a lot of food for one person!!)

I spent a good part of this weekend chopping tomatoes to freeze (you can read about it here) and picked up Angelfood this week so my freezer, pantry, shelves are STOCKED!!! Its a nice feeling. Oh and one more thing, I cut out Mt. Dew this week too! AGH!!! I just need to stop drinking it, its not good for me and actually I feel a bit better with out it.

I also made this awesome Blueberry/Zucchini bread which I HIGHLY recommend, it was the best!

My menu this week is going to be a hodgepodge of items.

Stuffed green peppers

Hamburgers with sweet corn

soft shell tacos

Tomato/Basil/ Mozzarella sandwiches

Spaghetti with meatsauce and garlic bread

This week isn’t a real creative week but I’m kinda just in the mood for some of my favorites (which is always mexican!!!)

Hope everyone has a great week and don’t forget to check out orgjunkie.com for more organizing tips!