Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beans and Broccoli

This is out first year doing a CSA share with a local farm and we LOVE it! The vegetables are wonderful and I love knowing that we are supporting the local food movement. I also love knowing where our food is coming from and knowing that we are recieving the best nutrition. Most produce in the store is picked early and sits in the truck and store for weeks before we get it. This causes it to lose nutritional value. With our box the produce is picked only 24-48 hrs before we get it and it is picked at its peak instead of early. 

Along with our box we also get to be involved in harvest events. This means we get to go out and pick a certain number of five gallon buckets of produce to can or freeze. This last weekend was the green bean and broccoli pick.

 I picked 2 five gallon buckets of green/yellow bean by myself while Scarlett and Chris were napping. When I got home we all went back out to pick broccoli.

This is our two five gallon buckets of beans and two five gallon buckets of broccoli. I also picked some kale and cucumbers for salads and kale chips.

So Chris (thank goodness for his help or it would have taken me forever) and I spent most of the weekend chopping and blanching our produce. It is a TON of work! But I know it will be so worth it this winter! 

 This is what everything looks like after blanching and freezing. The picture is kinda bad because I we had already put the produce in the basement freezer and I didn't want to lug it upstairs just for a picture. We got around 20 quart size bags of beans, around 10 gallon bags of broccoli and around 1 1/2 gallon bags of broccoli stems for soups.

I also did the pea pick earlier this year and blanched and froze them. Thank goodness for a wonderful friend who came to help shell them!

I also froze 5lbs of strawberries and  20 lbs of  blueberries. Yes, 20lbs! We LOVE blueberries in this house, especially frozen ones. They will probably be gone in a few months. I actually found an organic strawberry farm 45minutes south of us so that is where I got my strawberries. They are one of the dirty dozen so I was excited to find some organic! I made strawberry and strawberry rhubarb jam with 5lbs and froze the other 5lbs for smoothies.

I am hoping to have a freezer full of produce for the winter. I also plan on canning some tomato sauce too. Canning is just way more work to me than freezing, but I only have so much freezer space and we plan on getting meat this fall. I just got a flat top this last winter to replace our dying 1970's electric stove that came with the house and I am hoping it will work for some canning. I have heard mixed reviews on if you can can with a flat top or not. I plan to give it a try so I will let you know how it goes. 


  1. I'm glad you guys are enjoying your CSA! I know that we love it. I've been chopping up the kale in bite sized pieces and freezing it for soup too.

    You can do water bath canning on your smooth top, but you would have to buy a special pressure cooker to use that are more expensive. I do my pressure cooking out on our grill on a side burner.

    1. Thanks for all the information!! It was actually your blog that got me interested in joining the CSA this year. I don't have a pressure cooker yet but if I do get one it is good to know I can use the grill.

  2. Can you message me where the Strawberry farm is so I know for next year? Also, how does one blanch beans? I really want to do it, but I'm clueless!