Signups for 2014 are OPEN!

With spring winds blowing and temperatures rising, it’s almost time to start filling our bellies with delicious local produce again!  It has been a long winter, but spring started a long time ago for our growers.  Cold-season crops are planted, tomato seedlings are sitting in cold frames, and the ground is thawing and ready to be cultivated.  And we’re ready to eat!

To find out more about the CSA, poke around on this website.  The “About” page has lots of information about CSA in general, and the FAQs section there has all the details you need to make sure this CSA is the one for you.  When you’re ready to sign up, visit the “Sign Up Here!” tab to get started!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll be sure to get back to you.  Here’s to coming asparagus!!

2013 CSA season subscriptions are now available!

We and our bellies are happy to announce that signups have begun for the 2013 CSA season!

This season’s prices are:

Half share: $350

Full share: $550

Returning shareholders get a $20 discount if you respond by April 1 (even if you change your share size).

If you’re interested in signing up for the first time, please use the signup form here. Returning shareholders from last year can just send us a quick email indicating your interest and noting any changes in your contact information.

You’ll notice on the signup form that we are thinking about offering an egg share this year, and also (possibly) a small meat share.  We’re not sure yet of the price or amount, but if you think you might be interested in receiving eggs and/or meat at an additional cost, please indicate that on the form (or, returners, in your email). We’ll get back to you with details and availability once we see how many people are interested.

If you’re new to our CSA, please explore the About page before you take the plunge.  CSA is a big (wonderful) commitment, so you should know what you’re getting into before you commit!

Here’s to another season of fresh, tasty, local produce!

Extend the harvest!

Here’s a great opportunity to try CSA without the full-season commitment!

We still have a few slots available for our season extension, which we usually only offer to existing shareholders. Mother Nature doesn’t keep books, so she doesn’t need to decide ahead of time when the growing season will end. We do have books to keep, and so every year we set the last week of September as the closing date for our CSA season. Most years, there is still a good bit of produce left to go around well after the last pickup date, and other years, the end of September is a nice, natural close to the season. On years when the fields are still producing and it would be a shame to stop enjoying all of the goodness, we offer a season extension to our existing shareholders to prolong the harvest.

This year, the season is still going really strong.  At the moment, the fields are producing so well that we have to branch out and find more people to eat it all.  And here’s where you come in.  This year, we’re offering the season extension to anybody who is interested, whether you’ve participated in the CSA this year or not!

The season extension period is six weeks (first week of October through mid-November).  You pay for the entire period up front, and for the next six weeks you come to the Venture Out pickup site and get delicious fall food.  That includes greens, lettuce, beans, a few late season tomatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkins, sweet potoates, beets, and more.  And since it’s only for six weeks, you pay less money and make a smaller commitment than you would be if you were signing up for a whole season.  This is an excellent opportunity to try out CSA and see if it’s right for you!

Half shares are $105.

Full shares are $165.

If you’re interested, use the sign-up form on the website, but ignore the dollar amounts listed on that page.  We are NOT able to take deposits or offer any extended payment plans or discounts since the period is so short.  Paying in full as soon as you sign up is the only payment option we are able to offer at this point in the season.

To learn more about pickup times, etc., check out the “About” page.  If you have other questions, use the contact form to send us an email!  We look forward to hearing from you and enjoying the autumn harvest together!

2011 CSA sign ups are open!

 

A picture from Ande and Lauren's farm to remind you that summer exists.

It’s been a little warmer and the birds are starting to sing and the bulbs are pushing out of the ground and I’m starting to sneeze, which can only mean one thing!  Spring really is coming.  And that means CSA sign ups are open!!

If you’re new to the website and new to CSA, please take time to explore the pages here and see if this program sounds like a good fit for you.  The about section has articles on CSAs in general and ours in particular.

Once you’re all excited about getting 20 weeks of fresh-as-can-be vegetables, you can sign up here.

Whether you’re one of our core members who returns year after year or you’re visiting our page for the first time, we look forward to seeing you at our first pick-up of the year in May!

Basil Pesto

The word pesto comes from the Italian word pestare (“to pound/grind”). What that means is that it’s not pesto if you didn’t smash it like crazy with a mortar and pestle. Basil, like mint, becomes more fragrant and its flavor achieves greater depth when it has been squeezed or pounded, activating the oils in the leaves. Blenders and food processors only cut the leaves and fail to release the aromatic oils, leaving you with a sub-par pesto.

If you have a decently-sized mortar and pestle (about 2c), use that to achieve the best flavor (and to pound out frustration from a long day’s work). If not, then take the time to squeeze every leaf between your thumb and forefinger (or between your cutting board and a spoon), bruising it a bit before you stick it in the blender. You’ll be glad you did!

Try this recipe again in the early summer (when the basil is young and hasn’t flowered) for an even tastier dish.

This recipe serves two.

30 large or 60 small basil leaves
pinch salt

Put a pinch of salt in the mortar and add several leaves (5-7). Pound until the leaves begin to separate from the veins. Add another small handful of leaves and pound until these leaves begin to separate. Continue adding leaves slowly until all of the basil has been pounded together. At this point, the leaves will still be fairly chunky. You’ll take care of that in a minute.

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (if you are sensitive to garlic, gently sauté it first)

Pound the garlic into the basil leaves until it is pulverized. This will also continue to pulverize the basil leaves.

1-2 Tbsp pine nuts

Carefully pound these into the basil mixture, making sure each nut is pulverized completely. As you do this, the basil should become completely pulverized. If not, keep pounding until it looks like pesto. Make sure to use the pestle to combine the ingredients.

2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated (not the shaker can kind!)
2 Tbsp Romano cheese, finely grated
(there are even fancier cheeses that are appropriate for this recipe, but you’ll have to work to find them. It’s fine to use all Parmesan if that’s all you can find.)

Stir the cheese into the basil mixture.

3-5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (the higher quality the better)

Stir into the mixture. Add enough that some oil begins to pool on top of the mixture if you let it sit for a minute.

Serve generously on top of pasta or use as sauce on pizzas. You can also spread this on crackers and then top them with slow-roasted tomatoes.

Season Extension available!

The growing season is still going strong this year, so we are pleased to offer a season extension featuring fresh autumn vegetables! Here are the details.

When: October 7 – November 11 (an additional 6 weeks of CSA produce)

Cost: $165 for a full share. $105 for a half share.
(You can choose a full or half share for the Season Extension regardless of what you are receiving now)

Shares during this season will likely include:

Spinach
Lettuce
Apples
Nuts
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Pumpkins
Winter Squash
Radishes
Onions
Dried Peppers
Carrots

Possible value-added items:

Baked Goods
Apple Cider
Salsa
Pesto
Jelly
Dried Herbs
Herb Vinegars
Pickles
Pie Filling/Frozen Fruit

If you are interested, bring payment along when you pick up your share next Thursday at Venture Out. Please sign up by 9.2.2010.

Have some friends who might like to try out the CSA on a limited basis? This is their chance. Let them know they can sign up for the Season Extension and see if a CSA share is right for them.

To sign up (and tell the world how excited you are), just comment below! If you’d rather not post a comment, just sign up at next week’s pick-up, or email madisonareagrowers(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

CSA Newsletter 8.26.10

Hello Everyone,

We have exciting news! We will be offering a Season Extension this year for those who would like to continue to receive a share of produce for an additional 6 weeks. Please see the post above for information and pricing. Let us know as soon as possible if you are signing up so that our growers can plan accordingly.

This week everyone’s share will include:

plums
okra
tomatoes
peppers
greens
zucchini
cucumber
pesto

The half shares will also include:

pink-eyed purple hulls

The full shares will also include:

noodle beans
thai melon
lettuce
yellow squash
potatoes
extra tomatoes
zucchini bread

Enjoy!

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