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We want to celebrate July 4th weekend with you. Bring something cooked with the week share and a friend, and let’s have fun.

When: Saturday, July 3rd. 6-30pm-10pm
Where: Distribution site, off Pitkin ave between 87th & 86th St.

Walk-ins and non-members are welcomed. This is your chance to meet the organizers and other CSA members, see what we’re all about, and taste some of the freshest bites.

Hope to see you here!

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In yesterday’s distribution we got some red chard as our weekly green.  I want to branch out a bit with my cooking and try something other than a just a sautee, so I did a bit of searching until I found this recipe. 

RED CHARD RISOTTO

INGREDIENTS:

– 5 cups canned low-salt chidken broth
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 medium onion
– 1 1/2 cups ariborio or medium-grain white rice
– 4 cups coarsely chopped red chard leaves (about 1 bunch)
– 1/2 cup dry white wine
– 1/2 cup freshly garted parmesan cheese

Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan. Cover and keep warm. Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and chard and stir until chard begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer until absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups hot broth. Simmer until rice is just tender and risotto is creamy, stirring frequently and adding remaining 1/2 cup broth by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry, about 20 minutes. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer risotto to medium bowl. Serve, passing additional Parmesan separately.

I have yet to try making this, but will do this weekend when I have some free time.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Red-Chard-Risotto-1233#ixzz0rt2VwX6r

**** UPDATE!! I’ve made this 4 times now and it’s a huge hit with the fam – even my 18 month old can’t get enough 😉

The second distribution is Thursday, June 24th. This week’s veggies include:
– onions
– lettuce
– greens
– garlic scapes
– garlic
– radish or fennel

Also, fruit shares start this week. Details to come soon!

I’d never even heard of garlic scapes before receiving them as part of the CSA’s first distribution, so I had to search online for a recipe to use them in.

I found this and it sounded oh so yum.

GARLIC SCAPE AND ALMOND PESTO

INGREDIENTS:

– 10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
– 1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
– 1/3 cup slivered almonds (lightly toasted if you prefer)
– About 1/2 cup olive oil
– Sea salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (I used my blender instead).  Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese.  If you like the texture, stop; if you’d like it a little thinner, add some more oil.  Season with salt. It makes about one cup.

The pesto can be used on a variety of things, including meats, fish, pasta, etc… I bought a loaf of french bread and used it as a spread. Once again it was a mega hit with my husband, and he was sad when we finished it last eve.  Hoping to get some more garlic scapes soon so I can cheer him up with another batch!

-Meredith W Torres

ORGANIC MOVEMENT GROWS IN OZONE PARK
by Lisa Fogarty, Queens Chronicle Editor

CSA Ozone Park is working to bring organic, locally grown produce to consumers in south Queens. By now, Americans have become so familiar with terms like“genetically modified foods” and “frankenfoods” that, for some, a trip to the grocery store is about as pleasurable as warfare.

The mindful consumer has to moonlight as a health agent, scrutinizing stickers and labels, weighing options like whether to pay more money for a vegetable grown at a local farm versus one that traveled to the city from thousands of miles away. And in many parts of south Queens, the luxury of buying locally grown produce, meats and dairy remains a pipe dream.

But a group of women from Ozone Park is working to offer residents a fresh food alternative by forming a Community Supported Agriculture group in the neighborhood. CSA, a 20-year-old national movement that has become popular in some sections of Queens like Long Island City, seeks to bridge the gap between local farmers and the community. Consumers purchase a share, or “membership,” and in return get a box, bag or basket of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

Read full article

I’m not your typical organic shopper.  Frankly speaking, it’s just too expensive for me to buy organic, even more now that I have a family.  However, having a family should be the very reason why I need to jump on the organic bandwagon. I want my children to eat wholesome, chemical-free food, especially with some of the new research coming out on the harmful effects of pesticides*.

When I saw the Ozone Park CSA flyer, I was amazed to see how affordable the membership was.  $15 per week for fresh, organic veggies is a ridiculously low price considering the amount you’d typically pay at the supermarket. I joined the group the very next day, rejoicing that I’d finally found my way into a more organic lifestyle without having to break the bank.

Last night was the Ozone Park CSA’s first official distribution.  I was like a little kid in a candy store receiving my bags of fresh goodies. Handed over to me were two large bags of yummy looking greens.  There was so much I had to do a bit of rearranging in order to fit it all into my fridge. 

Eager to dive into my new stash, I decided to cook something up right away.  I don’t consider myself that great of a cook, as my typical preparation of dinner veggies involves a frozen box and a microwave.  It took me a couple of minutes to figure out what and how to cook, but then I remembered someone at the distribution saying something about sautéing kale.  I decided to add a tad of olive oil to a pot and throw in some of the kale, a few grape tomatoes, and some salt and pepper for taste. I wasn’t quite sure how it would come out, and I had my doubts when I saw the finished product.

I tried a spoonful and it was simply amaaaaazing. I put my husband to the taste test and he was also in complete awe. My meat-lover hubby actually turned to me after dinner and mumbled something to the effect of “maybe I can become a vegetarian”. Too many evenings filled with frozen broccoli could have played a factor in his revelation, but I’d like to think that most of the credit goes to the fresh veggies…and most definitely not my cooking.

As for cooking, I’m planning to make some pesto this weekend with the garlic scapes. I’ll let you know how it goes.

-Meredith Torres, organic newbie and member of Ozone Park CSA

*  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37156010/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

Thursday, June 17 is our first distribution day and here’s what’s on the menu:
– lettuce
– spring garlic
– garlic scapes
– radishes
– spring onions
– pac choi
– greens
– arugula

Come and pick up your share, and don’t forget to bring a reusable bag.

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