On Your Mark, Get Set: Keeping Up With So Many Summer Vegetables
By Cassidy Tickner
I am very happy to Relaying after Jennifer, who used so many fresh vegetables and herbs in her Grilled Summer Vegetables Marinated in Herbs. The variety made it easy for me to come up with a recipe idea since this has been a summer with piles of fresh vegetables at our house. For the first time we joined a CSA at a nearby farm; my brother Jeremiah and I have become very interested in farming and gardening, so we decided to plant our backyard garden that my parents hadn’t used in a few years. All summer my mother has been cooking lots of delicious meals using vegetables from the CSA. Now with vegetables getting ripe in our own garden, we can hardly keep up. We are going to have to start freezing some of the vegetables and save them for winter. It will be great to have them then. In the meantime we keep making meals full of as many vegetables as we can use.
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My interest in farming and gardening has grown from the time I spent in summer farm camps and at the Farmers and Foragers after school program at The Orchard School in East Alstead, New Hampshire. At farm camp I have taken care of chickens, pigs, goats, ducks and rabbits, planted vegetables, weeded, picked bugs off plants, harvested vegetables and fruit, and made snacks and meals with the food. This week when my mother and I went to pick up our vegetables at the Village Roots CSA at Orchard Hill Farm near the school, the farmer, Ellen, told us that the sugar snap peas we were getting that day were the ones we planted in the Spring during Farmers and Foragers camp!
This Spring, my family and I worked together in our home garden to prepare the soil in the old garden beds, then we planted lettuce, cabbage, mesclun mix, summer squash, broccoli, cucumbers and basil. We planted tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and dill in pots by the back of the house where there is more sun. So far, the lettuces, cucumbers, broccoli and herbs have been great!
From the CSA this week we brought home beets, summer onions, garlic, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, colorful heirloom tomatoes, cubanelle peppers, cilantro, medicinal basil, carrots, dinosaur kale, zucchini and patty pan squash! That worked well for my recipe idea since I wanted to use onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers and kale in my dish. When we got home I picked the other ingredients I wanted from our garden, including basil and broccoli. I also filled a big bowl with mesclun mix, leaf lettuce and a cucumber to make a side salad.
On Thursday I will share one of my favorite meals that my mom made this summer that uses up a lot of amazing vegetables, it got lots of compliments when I brought it for lunch to farm camp earlier this summer. It is also an Italian inspired food like Jennifer’s!