Even though we’ve frequented farmer’s markets for years, this is our first year joining a CSA (community supported agriculture). This past Saturday was the first weekend for pick-up and I took my camera to capture the occasion. Our local CSA is Uncle Bill’s Farm which is owned and operated by Sarah Carden and Alex Cookfair. The farm is right smack in the middle of New Jersey horse country. In fact, the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters is practically around the corner. Given that we’re in horse country, it should come as no surprise the 40 acre property is a former horse farm which has been slowly converted over the last few years to a small scale produce and poultry farm.
After visiting the Uncle Bill’s Farm in April for a tour I have been anxiously awaiting opening day of the CSA. And because I was so excited to feast my eyes on the veggie bounty I was one of the first to arrive. (Well, that and I was getting nagged to hurry so we could drive down to Philly for Comic Con.)
Upon entering Uncle Bill’s Farm, the first thing I encountered was the veggie washing station that included a groovy claw-foot tub.
Getting closer to the pick-up area, I spied a cool table holding some herbs and veggie plants for sale. Those are some serious table legs.
The first step was to sign in. Sarah verified my purchase of one full share (one bushel basket) and one full egg share (one dozen eggs) per week.
Now it was time to check out what was available for the week – all picked fresh that morning.
First up, wild garlic. I swear this is the stuff I have been weeding out of my yard! I had no idea it was actually edible.
Next up – beautiful, fresh radishes in different varieties and baby turnips. Lovely.
And then my favorite – beets! It never ceases to amaze me how many people have never eaten fresh beets. Beets and their greens are both wonderful. I’ve posted several beet recipes because I love them dearly. (Links at the bottom of this post).
The freshly picked greens were in abundance, delighting the early members. The offerings included common curly kale, lacinato (dinosaur) kale, mixed greens, arugula, butter lettuce and chard.
The rainbow chard was especially spectacular. (I’ll be posting a recipe for rainbow chard in a day or two.)
I loaded up my bushel basket with some of all the offerings including salad cucumbers and pickling cucumbers. Then it was on to collect my eggs.
The eggs come from these free-range chickens.
If you think eggs from free range chickens that roam around eating bugs and weeds aren’t different from standard eggs, just check out this Instagram I took the next day of my breakfast of salad greens and eggs. The yolks vary from bright yellow to deep orange. The taste and nutrition are just on a different level from regular eggs. There’s really no comparison. (And yes, I occasionally eat salad for breakfast. My kids freak out every time they witness this faux pas.)
All in all, day one of the twenty weeks of the CSA was a success. Uncle Bill’s Farm is living up to expectations!
Below are links to a few of my recipes that feature some of these veggie ingredients. You may find them helpful if you are looking for ways to enjoy the bounty from your local grocery store, farmer’s market or CSA. All these recipes are paleo which means they are grain and gluten-free, contain no soy or other legumes. The recipes also happen to be (mostly) nut and dairy-free. There are several vegan recipes to choose from as well.
Beets and Cucumbers
Roasted Beet and Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Dressing
Roasted Beets with Blood Oranges
Beet Greens Sauteéd with Garlic and Bacon Fat
Heirloom Tomatoes with Kale and Garlic Scape Dressing
Kale Salad with Warm Andouille Sausage and Mushroom Dressing
Endive, Watercress and Radish Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
Rainbow Chard with Shiitake Mushrooms and Wild Garlic
Stay tuned for the next post “Rainbow Chard with Shiitake Mushrooms and Wild Garlic”.
Thanks for stopping by!
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I love our CSA. One of the best things I’ve ever done food wise 🙂
Thank you for the recipes! My CSA begins tomorrow. I’m so excited to have some recipes!
Everything is so beautiful! But how on earth do you make it through a week on just one dozen eggs? 🙂 I buy at least two dozen per week, sometimes more, and my kids aren’t as bug as yours.
Enjoy all that colorful gorgeousness!
We definitely use more than a dozen eggs in a week – at least most weeks. The one dozen is just what they offer as a full “share” of eggs at a bit of a discount. I can buy more if I want to and probably will. The eggs are delicious. But I’m sure you know that!
Hi Lea, just came across your website today from a thread on MDA and was so interested to see that you’re in Peapack – I live in Bridgewater and am also a member of the CSA at Uncle Bill’s Farm. They have the most delicious fresh veggies and eggs ever!! I’ll be sure to check your posts for ideas on how to cook the bounty that I pick up every week, all your recipes look fantastic.