As previously stated, we live in a part of the United States that is particularly kind to people who like food. Especially good restaurants, seafood, and fruits and vegetables. In the nearly four months since our arrival, our diets have improved drastically – there are vegetables and fruit EVERYWHERE, so we buy more of them. Just that simple. And not just carrots and broccoli – no, we’ve developed what some might call a disturbing taste for Brussels sprouts, spinach, cabbage, and all kinds of other green goodies. (Plus apples. My gosh, I had never even heard of some of these varieties before we moved out here! In season, I see an average of seven different kinds when I go to QFC – our local Kroger/Dillon’s affiliate – and that’s not counting the Big Three of Granny Smith, Red Delicious, or Golden Delicious.)
Well, we decided to take it a small step forward and check out CSAs. There were maybe two or three back in our part of Kansas, and their spots for reservations filled quickly and weren’t quite diverse enough for our tastes. One of the first things I did when we got here was to Google “CSA [our city name here]”… and I got something like 22 results. Most of the CSAs require that you pay for the whole season in advance, which is a chunk of change. With in-laws who are farmers, I understand why and support that system… but our budget does not currently support it.
I was really pleased, then, to find Klesick Family Farms. They’re local, and they make organic produce home deliveries year-round. There are several different options for boxes – from 6-8 people down to boxes for individuals who just want fruit – and you can go week-to-week, or even just order a box once or twice a year. Flexibility is key – and much-appreciated. I decided to give it a shot last week and ordered a Northwest box (produce for 2-4 people, and it’s all from the Pacific Northwest). Holy cats. It was the best produce assortment I’ve ever had dumped in my lap. We got some familiar items (pears, apples, parsnips, potatoes) and then some items that I had to Google before committing to the week’s box (sunchokes – aka Jerusalem artichokes – and watercress).
One of the items we got was dinosaur kale. It’s super-dark kale, and it’s very good for you – but I don’t like kale in soups, only as a small percentage in salads, and we had never tried cooking it on its own. Not wanting it to go to waste, I decided to put Captain Google on the case and found this recipe: dinosaur kale with baby potatoes. If you have doubts about kale but want to give it a try, this recipe is an excellent gateway. Even Kidlette – who, at four, is deciding to test every boundary possible – devoured it. Go for it. It’s healthy, flavorful, and definitely does not taste like it’s good for you.