I've jumped on the non-fossil fuel emitting bandwagon. I have always ridden a bicycle, but for the first time, I'm making a conscious effort to reduce my driving.
This, in part, came about because of my participation in a CSA. During the winter share, I realized I was buying less but driving more to the grocery store. Instead of my weekly run, where I'd buy food for the next several days, I would pick an ingredient or two from the box, find a recipe, and drive to the store to buy what was missing from my shelves -- a few times a week.
I felt like these extra trips defeated the purpose of community supported agriculture, which should cut down on greenhouse gas emissions through deliveries of locally grown food (I say "should" because of current research challenging the notion that eating local always leaves a smaller carbon footprint than eating food that comes from farther afield, depending on how food is packaged and transported, what type of food it is, and how it is grown).
I have since started going to the small Mexican grocery store around the corner more but still shop often at the nearest Jewel and Whole Foods, which are close but not walking distance.
With warmer weather (finally!) hitting Chicago, I decided to cut those short car trips out as much as possible. I took my rusty but trusty 12-year-old mountain bike to a bike shop and got a rack and two collapsable baskets installed on the back.
And just in time for the summer CSA, which started Wednesday!
Speaking of green, there is a lot of that in this share.
Fortunately, many of the Wisconsin farms that contribute to my CSA were not hit too hard by all the rain and flooding that is devastating parts of the Midwest. At least that's the preliminary report. In the first box, we got lettuce, spinach, asparagus, green garlic, mint, and chives (topped by purple flowers, who knew?).
While there are many greens, the share includes some brilliant colors - those purple flowers, bright red radishes (which tasted crispy and spicy in my salad last night), chewy white mushrooms, dark red stalks of rhubarb, and a jar of brown pear butter.
There is more urgency to eat this food. The shares are going to come hard and fast every other week, instead of once a month, and many of the greens spoil if not eaten in a few days to a week.
We've already made a small dent with a big salad last night and sliced mushrooms, radishes, hearts of palm, and goat cheese. The night before, Ryan tested one of the recipes included in the CSA newsletter.
1/2# asparagus – prepared and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 # mushrooms, sliced
2-3 stalks of green garlic, sliced
Handful of spinach
1 pd. Linguine pasta
Salt and pepper, chives, parmesan cheese (we subbed asiago cheese)
Boil water and cook pasta according to directions on package
Meanwhile, sauté garlic, asparagus, and mushrooms in olive oil, until slightly tender.
Turn off heat and add spinach – season with salt and pepper
Add drained linguine (hot)
Top with chopped chives and shredded parmesan cheese