Our new Bag.
A few weeks ago I announced on my Facebook page the possibility of taking part in a local organic farm's CSA program (that's Community. Supported. Agriculture) I didn't want to get too excited, as I had visited a few other local organic farms in the past and found them to be more of a boutique than an actual working farm. However, when reading here about Love Grow's Farms...I began to think I had finally found the farm I was looking for when it came to locally grown and fresh.
My son Face spent about two days watching the Videos and Farmcasts of the farm owner Michael...and when we finally got to take a tour, he was standing there beside himself...We saw fields of bolting lettuce...
Starts of new melon plants...
Real baby carrots plucked from the earth sweet and tender...
along with long rows of fingerling potatoes,
Okra? Dude. Had it for the first time last week. What a trip. Who knew I'd actually like it?! My son asked me if this was the same one who's ratings I beat when I was on Valley Dish...I had to stop myself from laughing. No son, that was Oprah.There were fields of watermelons...in many varieties.
Melons in multiple shapes and sizes.
Even rare heirloom varieties like the moon and star melon that has these distinct leaves...
Would it even be an Arizona farm without supplies of citrus?Or goats?
The most excited I got was seeing them harvesting their seeds and doing their own starts. Not a trace of a GMO there.
There was however, a dog named Rosco who eats carrots and has an odd obsessive need to keep them from goats.
Their herb collection was also exciting to a chef. Don't ask me why. I'm just a servant to my calling. Espazote used commonly in beans...for um...gastric issues. It's a nice herb.
Various basil varieties...
When the first day's tour was over I was ready to come back as a working class citizen. Monday we ventured back. Both Face and Little Man came along to help pull weeds (as they don't use any chemicals to keep the weeds down...amen. Thank you!) and assist with harvesting. Sweaty and dusty, they appreciated a brief reprieve to watch the energetic and friendly Michael run the tractor.Krista, the greenhouse manager, walked up with a double wide squash...
The row is done...but we're most certainly not!
Michael and I talked for quite some time about doing a lot more videos on the farm to help folks figure out their own gardening systems at home and how to cook with the veggies they see in the fields. It was exciting! When all the farm work was over, my boys sat in the back seat of the car grinning ear to ear and talking non-stop (okay the non-stop talk isn't new...) about this great day and the amazing people who we get to rub elbows with down on the farm! Can you even blame me for taking this pristine produce out of its bag and starting in?
The squash, onion, herbs and tomatoes adding some clean crisp additions to the sourdough ciabatta pizzaThe next day, I dove into making a skillet pot pie from the carrots, beets, onions, parsley and squash. Topped with puff pastry that was kissed with tomato infused olive oil and sea salt. Oh have mercy!
Coming up...Valley Dish June 13! I'll be using some of Love Grow's Farm's Armenian Cucumbers for homemade pickles...deep fried. I know...it's not healthy, but at least it's all organic! It's better than fried un-organic. Right? These will of course be a side dish to an amazing main course.
Given my history with Vegetables on Valley Dish...aren't you curious to see what else we'll be making?
Here's a hint...it's not this. Though I have to say that originally, I designed this dish with Michael's veggies in mind...Fast and Easy bacon wrapped lemon-herb linguine
Cooking will the be, again, June 13th on Valley Dish NBC 12 at 3:30. In the meantime, we'll be returning to Love Grows Farms very often!
They have many convenient Pick Up Locations , and online ways to Join/Renew their CSA program to receive your own bags of tender perfect produce that's organically, locally and lovingly grown. Now weed free, by yours truly too. How's that for cool?
There you go. Check out the farm and keep coming back for more new, fresh ideas for cooking, baking, and growing your organic veg! Isn't life exciting?!